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Empathy as an Asset By Maria Macauley

Empathy as an Asset By Maria Macauley

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Empathy as an Asset By Maria Macauley

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  1. Empathyas an AssetBy Maria Macauley “Mother and child holding hands” image courtesy of Clip Art

  2. My Question • What is empathy? • What’s the difference between empathy and apathy, sympathy, compassion, pity, etc.? “How do nurses show empathy?” “Nurse hat” image courtesy of

  3. Studies • Understanding • Learning how to listen “Regardless of how rude or irritating the other person is, it is always worse to be the one experiencing the personal crises.” – Katie Morales (2012) “Female nurse checking heart rate on an elderly patient” image courtesy of

  4. Studies • Challenges of Empathy • It takes time. • Requires our attention. • Requires we push aside our own baggage. • Switches our outlook from ourselves to others. “Empathy allows us to be fully human and gives others permission to do the same.” - Julie Fuimano (2010) “Nurse examining patient that is in a cast” image courtesy of

  5. Studies • Perspective (of someone else) = empathy. • Empathy has a positive impact on nurses. “Perspective taking enhances job satisfaction, work engagement and reduces turnover intention. Compassion does not.” - Letizia Dal Santo “Silhouette of a nurse pushing a patient in a wheelchair” image courtesy of

  6. Methods • Hospital survey of 10 patients. (It was a slow day). • Casual questioning and observing. Surveys and observations.

  7. Survey 1. Do you feel like you’re being understood by your nurse? If so, how? If not, how? • 80% felt like their nurse understood them. • The other 20% did not, both saying similarly that their nurse has only came in to talk to them once, and therefore can’t have a full understanding of them. 2. To you, is empathy or sympathy more important in a nurse? • 100% said empathy. 3. Do you feel that your nurse… A. Hasn’t shown you much empathy? B. Takes the time to listen to and understand you? C. Explains everything to you in a clear, respectful manner? D. Has built a relationship with you? • 70% said B, C, and D. • 20% said A • 10% said C 4. Do you expect nurses to go above and beyond just “regular care”? • 100% said that they expect nurses to go above and beyond regular care. 5. What are ways that you think nurses can go above and beyond this “regular care”? • 60% said: Nurses who can simply talk with them about how they’re feeling in an open, nonjudgmental environment is going above and beyond. • 20% said: Nurses who try to cultivate relationships with their patients are going above and beyond. • 10% said: Nurses who don’t treat their patients like patients when it comes to how they’re feeling emotionally. • 10% said: A nurse that gives shots that don’t hurt. B, C, and D all have something in common.

  8. Observations Particularly, people want to be understood.

  9. Analysis • Listening to and understand patients, is what builds that important relationship. • Empathy is as good a medicine as any. “Communication, councilors, desk, doctors,” image courtesy of

  10. Analysis • Empathy has nothing but a positive impact on patients and their nurses. • “Knowing” and “understanding” are two very different things. “People with plus sign” image courtesy of

  11. Closing Thoughts Should nursing professors specifically make a point to bring empathy into their teachings, even if the lesson don’t call for it? Empathy IS an asset…for everyone.

  12. Reflection/What I Learned • How to make observations…effectively. • Transforming information from one medium to another. “Close up of a hand reaching out to help” image courtesy of

  13. Reference Page • Mother and child holding hands – close up (n.d.).[image]. Retrieved March 28 from • Nurse hat (n.d). [image]. Retrieved March 29 from • Female nurse checking heart rate on an elderly patient (n.d). [image]. Retrieved March 28 from • Morales, K. (11, 2012). The importance of empathy in nursing. Retrieved from • Nurse examining patient that is in a cast • Fuimano, J. (11, 2010). The importance of empathy in the workplace. Retrieved from

  14. Reference Page • Silhouette of a nurse pushing a patient in a wheelchair (n.d). [image]. Retrieved March 29 from • Dal Santo, L., Pohl , S., Saiani, L., & Battistelli, A. (2014). Empathy in the emotional interactions with patients. is it positive for nurses too? Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. Retrieved from • Communication, councilors, desk, doctors (n.d). [image]. Retrieved March 29 from • People with plus sign (n.d). [image]. Retrieved March 29 from • Close up of a hand reaching out to help (n.d). [image]. Retrieved March 29 from