In the Healthcare Field, we always communicate and relay important information with our colleagues, visitors, and patients through talking. But when it comes to connecting, this is a different topic because emotions are always attached to it. Human beings always link on a deeper level through their minds and hearts. For Healthcare Professionals, the ability to empathize is very important aside from technical skills and general knowledge about your role. In order to build a positive relationship, especially with your patients, you must know where they are coming from. By creating a positive patient experience, most likely is that there is a higher chance of good patient outcomes. In this blog, we will tackle why empathy is vital in every Healthcare role, and how to encourage and maintain this significant skill in every Healthcare facility.
Relationship Between Empathy and Patient Outcomes
According to Merriam-Webster (n.d.), empathy is the ability to comprehend, acknowledge, and feel the emotions, ideas, and encounters of another person from either the past or present, without the need for explicit communication. It involves sensitivity towards others and the capacity to emotionally connect and relate to them on a deeper level. Not every person knows how to give empathy but during needed times, this skill is essential, especially to your patients. To show empathy to a person, we can build rapport with our patients by asking questions that will help them feel safe around us Healthcare Workers such as how they feel at the moment, how is their day, and many more. That way, we can encourage them to follow their treatment plans we were able to recognize their specific needs and concerns.
Empathy Training for Healthcare Workers
Through proper training and education, we can help our Healthcare Workers develop and/or improve this wonderful ability that they can use in their personal and professional lives. Here are some of the best practices to help our Healthcare Workers develop empathy:
- Attentive listening training- listening is one of the most powerful skills we should learn because we can interconnect deeper with the person we are talking with.
- Patient feedback- Gathering patient feedback is crucial in identifying areas for improvement in Healthcare Services. Without directly asking our clients, we will not clearly understand how our healthcare professionals can better empathize with patients. Their comments provide valuable insights that can be used to enhance the quality of care and improve the overall patient experience.
- Adapting treatment plans to the patient- by taking into account the patient’s individual needs and concerns, healthcare providers can customize treatment plans to their specific situation. This personalized approach can result in improved patient outcomes and a higher quality of care.
In the Healthcare Industry, having empathy as a skill is essential in every Healthcare Employee-patient interaction. As a Healthcare Professional, by showing and demonstrating empathy toward your patients, results are mostly positive in terms of patient experience and outcome because of the rapport you can build with your patient. Empathy is not hard to develop because there is simple education and training that can help you build it. Through this skill, we will be able to create a positive and compassionate atmosphere for our patients in our Healthcare facilities.
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Source: Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Empathy. In the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved August 2, 2023, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empathy