Monday, February 25, 2008

Compassion, Real or Fake?

I've came across a observation that I have finally seemed to put my finger on and it deals with compassion towards our patients and with all health care workers that I have dealt with.

First off how about a definition which I took off of Wikipedia:

Compassion is an understanding of the emotional state of another or oneself. Not to be confused with empathy, compassion is often combined with a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another or to show special kindness to those who suffer. However, compassion may lead an individual to feel empathy with another person.

Now that that is out of the way I will continue.

As health care workers we need to be able to show compassion and empathy towards people who are not feeling well or even dying. This is something we are told in school that we need to use is compassion towards our patients.

Understand that not everyone in health care is able to show compassion and those are the one try entirely to hard to fake showing compassion. This is what my observation is about. I have noticed that it is really easy to spot a person who really doesn't have a whole lot of compassion and is just doing this as a good paying job, but they are not necessarily suited for this type of job.

Some jobs take more than just understanding and knowing the position and knowing how to do that particular job. Need more than just schooling and getting a good GPA in their degree.

Let me try some examples:
A photographer can know all the settings, but they also have to know how to see the world, how to work with their subjects.

A bartender can know how to make every drink in the book but still needs to be able to listen and talk with people, who wants to sit a bar and have a unsociable bartender.

A teacher could of graduated with perfect grades from college, but still has to be able to communicate to the class, and be able to be a mentor.

A Psychologist can know everything there is to know about Freud but they also need to know how to listen and get a person to trust them.

A waitress/waiter needs to know what is on the menu but also needs to be able to be personable with the customers, who wants a unfriendly waitress...sorry no tip.

OK by now I'm sure you get the idea. We, RT's, nurses, doctors, xray techs, lab techs, hell anyone who works with sick or injured people has to be able to show compassion to these people, let them know we do care that they are ill and wish for them to get better and that we will do what we can to help them.

I've come to notice that there are some people out there who do not possess this skill, but do know their job. These people try to disguise this by being overly compassionate, looking to eager to do their job, almost forcefully doing their job. Just plain faking it. It's it totally obvious if you look, you can see it in their faces, hear it in the tone of voice and especially notice it as they walk out of the room.

The people who are compassionate do not try to force their way through the job, they just do their job. Just watch the nurses you can tell, the ones who are good are the ones who don't get overly rattled, the ones who look more relaxed and not rushed. When they talk to the patient their words and expressions don't look like they are acting, they look comfortable and not trying to hard to be overly nice.

Oh yes just look around and watch, you can definitely tell.

I feel like I'm compassionate with my patients and I don't force it, I just be myself and I usually get along with my patients. I don't fake anything, I just am who I am.

Don't fake it, people can always tell ... Yes ladies even your boyfriends and husbands can to.

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