Nursing Compassion: A Case Study

Decent Essays

Compassion is identified by the National Health Service (NHS) (2016) as one of the 6Cs that form the basic values that are fundamental to providing effective nursing care. Defined by the NHS as ‘intelligent kindness’, compassion is considered a complex combination of emotions. Chochinov (2007) describes compassion as ‘a deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it’. Similarly, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2009, p. 9) defines compassion as an extension of empathy and the ‘want to help and do something to make the situation better’. These theories suggest compassion is not simply a sympathising emotion, but a motivation to improve another’s wellbeing.
Chambers and Ryder (2009) describe compassionate …show more content…

62–68). Bull (1987) reports eye contact, posture and touch can aid in conveying interest and empathy, a concept also supported by Egan’s SOLER (Sit squarely, Open posture, Lean forward, Eye Contact, Relax) theory (2002). Mehrabian and Ferris (1967) report an adult’s words contributes to just 7% of the impression of being liked or disliked, with vocal cues accounting for 38% and facial cues 55%. This evidence suggests that non-verbal communication also aids in developing rapport and trust - key components of compassion, and essential to enable effective adult nursing care.
The importance of compassion in care is highlighted in a number of recent healthcare documents (Health Service Ombudsman, 2011 and Department of Health (DH), 2012). Research evidence suggests adult patients who are treated by a compassionate caregiver tend to share more information regarding their symptoms and concerns, which in turn yields more accurate understanding, diagnosis and treatment (Epstein et al., 2005). Compassionate care is also thought to have significant beneficial physiological effects in influencing the brain, metabolism, cardiovascular and respiratory systems (Cole-King and Gilbert, …show more content…

By sampling over one thousand adult patients in the United Kingdom results were collected and analysed to clearly show improved patient health, coping, communication with health professionals, in addition to reduced time spent in hospital (The Health Foundation, 2011). This case study’s results demonstrate the importance of compassionate care in both the physical and psychological healing process of an adult patient.
With compassionate care playing a role in improving patient outcomes, the nurse’s delivering such care are found to experience increased confidence and job satisfaction as a result (van den Pol-Grevelink, A., Jukema, JS. and Smits CH., cited in Health Innovation Network, 2016). Furthermore, as compassion increases patient satisfaction, a resulting reduction in repeat service use is evidenced, thus reducing overall costs of care (Health Innovation Network,

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