Theme Of Compassionate Care

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Global theme two is comprised of the organising themes of compassionate care, bonding and connecting and support. The findings of this global theme will now be discussed.
The literature provides numerous definitions of compassion and compassionate care. Dewar (2013) defines compassion as the need to recognize and support human vulnerability. Kearsley and Youngson (2012) describe the fundamental principles of compassion as the ability to appreciate the suffering of another and to develop strategies to help alleviate the suffering. Compassionate care has been highlighted as a priority in maternity care particularly when caring for bereaved parents. The Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death (2016) highlight
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One mother described a lack of empathy from a particular midwife which appeared to negatively impact her experience. There are a number of barriers to providing compassionate care to bereaved parents. Power (2016) explains that work load and staff shortages can act as a barrier to providing compassionate care. Providing care to bereaved parents can be challenging even for experienced staff and can lead to health professionals being overwhelmed and emotionally burned out, which can negatively impact on patient care and on their own psychological wellbeing (Chan and Arthur, 2009; Nuzum et al., 2015). The mother who reported experiencing a lack of empathy suggested that the midwife looking after her was ‘overworked’ and ‘over tired’. Support and supervision for staff working with bereaved parents is needed to promote the psychological wellbeing of staff and to improve the care they provide to bereaved parents (RCOG, 2010; Wallbank and Robertson, 2013). Youngson (2011) believes that health care professionals cannot provide compassionate care without support. When the work environment is supportive healthcare workers can develop the inner recourses needed to provide compassionate care and can feel safe to bring greater humanity to their work (Youngson, 2011). Parents in this study appeared to greatly value compassionate care from hospital staff, particularly when empathy and sensitivity were shown to them. Maternity hospitals need to strive to create a supportive environment for staff to work in to enhance both the well being of staff, but also to ensure staff have the ability to provide compassionate care to everyone they care for. Youngson (2011) suggests numerous ways to create a supportive environment including acting against bullying, promoting

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