Assignment is about he word "compassion" is derived from the Latin word "compati" which means "to suffer together."

Home, - Compassion is widely recognized as an essential component of good quality care.

The word "compassion" is derived from the Latin word "compati" which means "to suffer together." A nurse is said to be compassionate towards a patient when he/she has a genuine intention of relieving the patient's suffering and is also able to identify with the patient's condition. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) carried out extensive consultations with nurses and midwives across Ireland. The results revealed that compassion, along with caring and commitment are the core values that underpin professional nursing practices in Ireland. Nurses can help patients in effective decision-making only if they are able to step into the shoes of the ailing person. However, patients have difficulty in experiencing compassionate behavior if the decisions are not made from their perspective. Hence, compassion includes respect for the patient's autonomy as well (Maclean 2009, p. 103).

Nurses can provide effective healthcare only if they understand the patient's views on compassionate care. Recent studies have revealed that patients perceive compassionate behavior when the nurse is willing to give them time above and beyond the call of duty. Patients also seek empathy from the nurses and want them to be aware of how it feels to be in the shoes of the sufferer. Communication is also an important aspect of the perception of compassionate behavior (Bramley and Matiti, 2014).
Emergency nurses experience severe levels of mental and emotional trauma which often leads to compassion fatigue. This essay explores the role of compassion in high-quality healthcare as well as the challenges nurses face in being compassionate towards the patients.

As mentioned in the introduction, the survey conducted by NMBI has identified compassion as an integral element of care-giving. When a compassionate nurse engages with a sick person, he/she understands and internalizes the feelings of the patient and adopts an utterly non-judgmental approach. The decisions are hence made with respect for the patient's beliefs and culture. Such an attitude ensures that an egalitarian relationship is maintained between the patient and the caregiver. The patient is bound to feel empowered in the presence of a compassionate nurse and is likely to experience a strong will to live, which is essential for enduring a lengthy treatment process.
Contemporary health care literature has drawn a distinction between compassion and empathy. Empathy is simply the ability of an individual to identify with the experiences of another person. However, it is merely a subordinate of compassion (Cole-King and Gilbert, 2011). Compassion in the context of healthcare has five crucial elements which are listed below (Strauss et. Al., 2016).
1. Recognition of the patient's suffering (cognitive aspect)
2. Realization of the universal nature of human suffering
3. Development of feelings of empathy for the sufferer
4. Coping with negative emotions that may be aroused while dealing with the patient
5. Feeling a strong motivation to take the necessary steps to eliminate or reduce the suffering
Compassion is an essential element of the nursing profession because it not only ensures that the patient remains emotionally healthy but also provides job satisfaction to the nurses (Weathers et al., 2015). When nurses are able to show compassion for their patients and alleviate their pain successfully, they enjoy their jobs and experience compassion satisfaction.
However, the patient's experience is arguably more important than the nurse's perspective on compassionate care. Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been a lot of debate regarding the question of compassionate nursing care from the point of view of the patient (Van Der Singel 2009). In a survey carried out by Bramley and Matiti (2014), patients were interviewed just before their discharge from the hospital. They were asked to express their views on compassionate healthcare. Most of them claimed that the lack of time given to them by the nurses due to their high demand was a major obstacle in the perception of compassionate care. They also emphasized the importance of showing compassion, even when the patient has evidently committed an error. One of the patients, who were interviewed during the survey, perceived compassion when a nurse ran to the aid of an elderly gentleman who had injured himself while trying to get out of his bed. He appreciated the fact that the nurse did not reprimand the gentleman for failing to adhere to the instructions given to him. Thus, non- judgmental treatment of the patient is crucial for the patient to experience compassion. Finally, all the participants in the interview process declared that communication is the most significant aspect of compassion. Patients expect nurses to communicate with them verbally and non-verbally. The positive body language of a nurse gives the patient enough confidence to deal with complicated surgeries or prolonged treatment (Van Der Singel 2009).
When talking about compassion in nursing care, it is essential to emphasize the responsibility and empathy that are necessary for midwifery practice in any healthcare institute. Midwives are the certified care professionals in hospitals who serve their job compassionately for the women by providing a gynecological examination, contraceptive counseling, pre and post-pregnancy care, etc. Though empathy is different from compassion, it can be considered as the added benefits for the midwifery positions as empathy make midwives to become one with the patient's distress and feel the situation wholeheartedly. Thus, compassion with empathy help midwives to perform better services towards patients as they can relate with midwives at the emotional levels. In a bigger sense, openness, intuition, love, and compassion are the most important ingredients that make a midwife empathic. Researchers have identified responsibilities and empathy as crucial ingredients for midwives and other nursing professionals at the time of taking care of pregnant women or those who are going to give birth to a new life. Spirituality also plays a vital role in showing compassion for any midwives to their work. Several research analyses were accompanied by conducting surveys and interviews with women, including mothers, midwives, women in labor, other care staff to promote more compassion, spirituality, empathy in midwifery practices (Moore et al., 2010).
The code of professional conduct and ethics for registered nurses and midwives (Nmbi.ie, 2014), a professional guideline has been structured based on quality, competency, and accountability of the professional practices for nurses and midwives. The main aim of this guideline is to conduct the professional roles and responsibilities of midwives and nurses. In Ireland, social policy, EU directives, national and local guidelines determine the practice scope of nurses and midwives in any health center. The importance of nursing care code of conduct must be familiar by the midwives and nurses in order to apply them in the professional practices (Moore et al., 2010).
. They should adhere to the basic principles of codes that enumerate things like self-development and public awareness etc. to generate better care procedures to the patients and obtain the best reputation from the society. The main aim of the code of professional conduct and ethics is to guide the midwives and nurses by making ethical care decisions for future prospects as well as emphasizes on the public obligation in order to understand the needs of them. The codes also support information for the public about the care facilities that they can expect from nurses and midwives. The main purpose of the code of conduct is to set proper rules and regulations and enforcement of professionalism in any health organization of Ireland (Nmbi.ie, 2014).
However, the scenario is not the same in every situation, and several survey reports support this statement. Not all the midwives and nurses can hold the characteristics of compassion and empathy towards their patients. Sometimes patients suffer disrespectful behavior from midwives and nurses and get lower quality care treatment from them (Bramley and Matiti (2014). This indicates a lack of adequate training and knowledge about the code of conduct and ethics in health care services by those nurses and midwives. On the other hand, compassion and empathy sometimes bring fatigue towards their services (Sorenson et al., 2016). This happens when nurses and midwives get too much involved with the pain and distress of the patients. They sometimes become victims of meeting the overwhelming needs of the patients. Compassion fatigue affects emotional and physical health, job satisfaction of nurses, and midwives. It also affects the workplace environment and decreases the quality of care services and productivity. As a result, care professionals may deliver some adverse activities like lack of care, reduction of empathy; avoid patients with chronic diseases, rude behavior towards patients (Lombardo and Eyre, 2011). Thus it is crucial to balance compassion and empathy in the workplace for any nurses and midwives in order to avoid the work-related fatigue.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) has made a holistic approach by carrying out extensive consultation with midwives and nurses in order to understand the core values of nursing practices. Compassion and empathy are the two crucial aspects of any midwife that may reflect their ability to care for women with various gynecological problems. The present study also lights on the principles of the code of professional conduct and ethics for registered nurses and midwives in Ireland. The main principle of this code is to provide proper guidelines for care professionals. Compassion fatigue is a serious matter of concern in the nursing and midwifery profession as it may force to deliver the substandard quality of care services by the care professionals. Thus at the end of this study of discussion, it can be concluded that compassion and empathy must be handled in a balanced way in nursing and midwifery professions to provide the best care to the patients and meet their needs.

Leave a comment


Related :-