Graduation June 21, 2024 – Guest Speaker Ken West, President & CEO of HCA Florida JFK Hospital

Nursing: The Compassion Culture

Nursing The Compassion Culture

Sometimes we forget that healthcare is more than a job or a career. The word “care” is right in the name. Nursing was established to provide individualized and personal care to patients in the hospital and clinic. People spend more time with nurses than they do with any other medical professional.

Compassion in the ICU and beyond


In the ICU, compassionate care is an obvious need. Family members and friends are worried about their loved ones. They need to know the status of their loved one, what the diagnoses mean, how the medications could help, and the realistic expectations for recovery. Nurses aren’t just caring for the patients at this point; the family members become patients-by-association.

Patients and their families deserve a culture of compassion. Nurses are the ones who will communicate what the doctor says and explain what the doctor means. When family members need assurances, nurses are the ones who are available to provide accurate information in a compassionate manner.

Hospitals can create a culture of compassion through adequate staffing levels and support nurses who help carry out the work. If there are not enough nurses, then that means patients and their families might not get the time and care that they need. Staff will be rushed and stressed if there is not adequate coverage.


The compassionate care of nursing


The compassion culture of nursing means that nurses listen to what patients and their families need. This goes beyond medicine to the heart of the matter. Do family members need a listening ear? Do they have questions? Do they need assurances? Maybe they need an explanation for what is happening and what your team is doing to save their family member.

If a patient passes away, then family members who had been there throughout treatment may need someone to hold their hand. They might not be able to think clearly enough to know what to do, so nurses can guide them through the process. Providing a compassionate ear is also important.

Hospitals must prioritize safety, evidence-based care, and efficiency. But that does not mean that compassion has to fall by the wayside. Patients and their families are people, and people can be scared, sad, and lonely when faced with illnesses or injuries. Nursing can certainly build a culture of compassion.


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