Empathy in Nursing

Good communication between the client and the health care worker is a vital theory within a health care setting. To have an effective communication with a patient, a nurse needs to be empathetic and a good listener. Empathy is the ability to understand and share patient’s emotion or state of mind. Showing interest, attention and devotion towards patient will enhance a strong, healthy and supportive bond with the patient.

According to the Webster’s dictionary, empathy is defined as “the projection of one’s own personality into the personality of another in order to understand the person better; ability to share in another’s emotions, thoughts, feelings” (Moore 2006, p 16). Empathy is usually considered as the capability to put oneself in a situation to understand the emotions, feelings of other people.

Nowadays, empathy is considered as an effective skill for communication that is useful for both the health care worker and the client (Ioannidou & Konstantikaki 2008, p 118). The health care worker can collect related information and data from a client without any difficulty by using empathy as a communication tool. A no of patients visit hospitals or health care settings with different needs and expectations having different problems. Some clients are extremely hard to control.

An empathetic understanding is necessary while dealing with such patients. Therefore, approaching empathetically can maintain the interpersonal relationship between the health care worker and client as well as improve the effectiveness of treatment (Davis 2009, p 76). It is important that the health care workers should feel what the patients or clients are going through providing comfort and reassuring of their lives. Empathy is a way of telling them they are not alone. It reduces their fear thus bringing hope and confidence.

Keen (2006, p ……….. ) states that memory, knowledge, knowledge and being able to feel other’s perception plays important part in empathy. The initial step in developing clinical empathy is to actively listen to the patient ( Davis 2009, p 77). In a therapeutic relationship, a health care worker can understand problems of a patient by listening carefully to their verbal and emotional behaviours (Kliszcz et al. 2006). The responsibility of health care provider is to avoid any physical and mental factors that istracts the interaction between the patient and them. They should pay attention while the client is giving his or her information. The following step for empathy is to understand, recognize and sensitive obligation of feelings of another person. The health care worker should show the patient what they understand and make realize the support is provided to them. Demonstrating empathy helps to decrease the feeling of insulated for their disease to the client which is intensely therapeutic.

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