The purpose of this essay is to look at barriers of compassion and what nurses could do overcome these barriers. Three sub topics will be looked at over the course of this essay and a conclusion will be made to evaluate these essays findings and to provide some input into battling these barriers so that patients can receive high standards of patient care.
The definition of compassion in the oxford dictionary is ''sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering or misfortunes of others''. Oxford dictionary (2013) However senior lecturer Penny Harrison says there is no accurate definition for compassion as it is a word that can be understood in different ways. Harrison, P. (2009)
The importance of compassion is vital in any care setting
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A nurse can be so tired sometimes from doing too many long working days in a row day or night shifts that maybe they forget to do the simple thing of listening and talking to their patients instead of getting the everyday tasks done. Some nurses are so tired that they can't deliver the compassionate care that some patients need. Therefore the patient will leave that hospital ward or sitting in their own homes thinking I don't think I liked that nurse, they didn't listen to me or I really could off done with talking to them about that. Compassion fatigue is a dangerous thing if a nurse starts resenting his or hers patients. Corners may very well be skipped in providing basic care, for example like health hygiene and then this is where the patient’s health starts to be at risk as infection could spread. Certain aspects of compassion fatigue have been looked at in America. The Chief nursing executive at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania once visualised a place where nurses could go if there were feeling low and that compassion fatigue was starting to interfere with their work. This type of sanctuary for nurses became a reality and now nurses can go on their time off and enjoy a range of dance, exercise and meditation classes as well as enjoy a massage from the massage chairs provided. There is proof now that this centre has worked for the nurses in the hospital and that staff morale has been raised and more importantly patient care has been improved. Romano,