Empathy has positive influence over the quality of relations between nurses and patients, as well as the quality of nursing care. 2009 Jan 8-21;18(1):46-51. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2009.18.1.32091. This distance while allowing the nurse to make objective and rational decisions about patient care also provides a means to gain psychological information about that patient. J Med Ethics. Studies have been undertaken to explore the concept of empathy among nursing students, but there have been no investigations in Jordan or in the Arab world. Nurses need to think carefully about how they use information gained as a result. Empathy is recognized as a highly valued professional characteristic in the nurse-patient relationship. This suggests there may be inherent problems with the empathic relationship in this setting. Research indicates that empathy, a quality regarded as fundamentally important to nursing practice, is a teachable skill.Because empathic nurse-patient relationships are particularly important in the care of the terminally ill, this has direct relevance to the professional development of palliative care nurses. Empathy model most often used in nursing is based on the relations in the communication process. Engaging patients with empathy can lead to a better doctor/patient and nurse/patient relationship. The professionalisation of nursing has helped to move it from instrumental rationality with its focus on procedures and routines (task orientation). Yet others argue that nurses should rather rely on sympathy, compassion, or consolation. Stenhouse R, Ion R, Roxburgh M, Devitt PF, Smith SD. Some authors have questioned the value of seeking to develop empathic nurse-patient relationships within busy acute healthcare settings due to the constraints of this environment (Wong, 2004). Exploring the art of empathy 2003-08-01 00:00:00 Understanding the realities of later life can be particularly challenging when we are young. High profile new initiatives to improve patient care that also improve the public relations need to be carefully examined. Within nursing literature, empathy appears to be valued as a concept to be used alone rather than within a relationship containing all the core conditions. However, an examination of the origins of the term empathy is important if it is to be critiqued and accepted as part of nursing practice. Epub 2016 Jan 30. In contrast to nurse training, counsellors undergo a lengthy period of personal development; this enables them to recognise and take ownership of their personal prejudices and ensures that they do not influence the individual’s frame of reference (Sanders, 2002). Undergraduate nursing students are taught the importance of empathic relationships. Reconsidering Empathy in Nursing Care. This means that the individual does what they believe others would want them to do rather than following their own desires. The portrayal of empathy in nursing literature appears to differ from its portrayal within counselling literature, with the concept of empathy separated from the core conditions of congruence and unconditional positive regard, thereby presenting it as a ‘tool’. Why should an empathic nurse-patient relationship be a cause for concern? But is an empathic relationship altruistic? Counsellors rarely document detailed personal information relating to their work with their clients in order that they can maintain their clients’ privacy. They are likely to be the product of discourses which appear attractive to the professions self concept, but have hidden agendas or dynamics that are not apparently obvious; the practice-discourse of the empathic nurse-patient relationship is an illustration of this. The trust that is generated by the empathic relationship allows the nurse to become privy to information that, in any other situation, the patient may not disclose; this type of relationship fosters the sharing of deeply personal information that can be used in a variety of ways. The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article. In the counselling relationship, the deep empathic understanding is used to express a desire by the counsellor to fully identify and understand the other person’s experience as if it were their own. Medical Nursing: (11th edition) London: Harcourt Publishers limited Berry, D. 2007. ‘Employers must do their utmost to support their nursing staff’, 24 October, 2010 Patients have different models of understanding the boundaries of confidentiality compared to nurses and doctors (Jenkins, 2005). 2009 Aug;35(8):465-8. doi: 10.1136/jme.2008.028530. By tracing the integration of this concept into nursing, we suggest that empathy was uncritically adopted from psychology and is actually a poor fit for the clinical reality of nursing practice. Summary. Why Is Empathy in Nursing Important? Nurs Times. 2 Abstract: The aim of the current study was to explore the Arab nurses' conceptualization and utilization of empathy in the psychiatric setting in United Arab Emirates (UAE). 101026Exploring the concept of empathy in nursing: can it lead to abuse of patient trust? ‘New nursing’ focuses on the individuality of the patient; person-centred care and has sought to counteract the effects of the medical model (with its associated depersonalisation) (Salvage, 1990). Nurses should carefully examine the background of any new initiative which claims to improve nursing practice; especially those which appeal to nurse’s self image. The nurse-patient relationship is far from equal and differs vastly from the counselling relationship where the counsellor seeks to help the client become their own expert. Br J Nurs. Nurse advocacy, patient empowerment, consent and confidentiality are discussed as examples of potential areas requiring careful consideration. Empathy, sympathy and compassion also share elements with other forms of … An initial review of the literature provides insight into an elusive concept because the researcher can discover what is known, not known, or confusing about a concept.Empathy was chosen as the concept of interest to illustrate the process of concept analysis. This is a good example of the conflicting agendas which are present in the healthcare environment and nurses need to be extremely careful that their relationships with patients are free from prejudice. Within counselling literature, the self-concept is heavily influenced during our formative years by the attitudes of others. Definitions are outlined in Box 1. This study is based on the data of a doctoral study exploring the nature of empathy on an oncology ward. Schwaber (1981 cited by Olsen, 1991) emphasises this point when he refers to empathy as ‘a method of observation’ while, Yu and Kirk (2008) suggest that empathy can be taught as a skill. Nurse Educ Today. NIH The concept of empathy has much been deliberated upon over the years from different perspectives due to its subjectivity. The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article. Exploring the Developmnet of Empathy with Nurse Residents in a Nurse Residency Program: A Qualitative Case StudyObjectivesAfter participating in this educational activity, attendees should be able to:1.  |  Can we teach them to be more empathic? This means that politics directly influences nursing practice; with government agendas, influenced by public opinion making headline news. Within nursing literature, empathy appears to be valued as a concept to be used alone rather than within a relationship containing all the core conditions. Nursing Times; 106: 42, early online publication. To begin the dissection of the identified concept of interest, the CNS researcher must begin with the meaning to nursing. Sign in or Register a new account to join the discussion. Keywords Empathy, Compassion, Nurse-patient relationship. This is a stark reminder of the imbalance of power and paternalistic nature of the healthcare environment. Exploring the concept of empathy in aesthetic nursing Brackenbury, J Journal of Aesthetic Nursing | Vol 5 | No 7 | September 2016 | pp 349–353 Abstract Empathy is a complex, multidimensional concept that has moral, cognitive, emotive and behavioural components. Personal system concepts from King’s general systems framework include perception, self, growth and development, body image, space, time, and learning. A concept analysis of nurse-patient trust. According to Schantz , the concept of compassion in the United States is not as clearly defined in nursing scholarship and is often used interchangeably with the term caring. It is important to understand the terms compassion, sympathy and empathy which are used interchangeably in nursing literature resulting in confusion and manipulation of these concepts in the healthcare environment. Yet others argue that nurses should rather rely … Empathy is a complex, multidimensional concept that has moral, cognitive, emotive and behavioural components. We need to carefully consider whether we always gain consent for the sharing of all information that a patient has confided in us and how we document such information. Public opinion and media attention becomes the key drivers for government policy relating to health care; as the government in an effort to avoid embarrassment reacts to critical reports (Hart, 2004). This strengthens communication because nurses can gain an understanding of how patients are coping and what they are experiencing. How can we measure empathy? However, the boundaries of the counselling relationship vary from that of the nurse-patient relationship; it is these distinct differences that have implications for patients. PMID: 21121451 Abstract This article examines the reasons why empathy and compassion have become so highly politicised. For UK health professionals only The roundtable discussion and this associated article…, Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our, EMAP Publishing Limited Company number 7880758 (England & Wales) Registered address: 7th Floor, Vantage London, Great West Road, Brentford, United Kingdom, TW8 9AG, We use cookies to personalize and improve your experience on our site. England: Open university press. This is particularly relevant when considering aspects of patient care like health education, empowerment, advocacy and consent, where patients are vulnerable to external influence. Author Information . The value of empathy for the nurse-patient relationship is thought to allow understanding not only of other individuals’ beliefs, values and ideas but also the significance that their situation has for them and their associated feelings. It is important to recognise that there is an imbalance of power in the relationship between the nurse and the patient; therefore the patient is vulnerable (Sellman, 2007). In short, insight is gained into the mind and thinking of the patient. However, despite these concerns, a new discourse about nursing practice has emerged which includes the following questions: How empathic are nurses? Rogers asserts that the core conditions are vital for the formation of a relationship where a counselling client can reconnect with their self-concept. Despite the barriers, empathy is critical and enhances communication. This article examines the reasons why empathy and compassion have become so highly politicised and encourages those involved in the delivery of patient care to consider the … Basic forms of communication. Implications of these findings are discussed, limitations of the study are acknowledged and areas for further work suggested. If one were topoint to a conceptual core for understanding these phenomena, it isprobably best to point to David Hume’s dictum that “theminds of men are mirrors to one another,”(Hume 1739–40[1978], 365) since in encountering other persons, hum… Many new nursing initiatives originate from evidence based practice, this means that nurses are continually driving growth and change. Similar concerns are are raised by von Dietze and Orb (2000),  warning us that nurses do not make judgements in a vacuum and will always be influenced by ‘particular values and dynamics around patient care’. The empathic understanding of patients by nurses has the potential to put the patient at risk. Compassion involves an active participation in another individual’s suffering rather than simply identifying with it (von Dietze and Orb, 2000). Empathy is usually considered as the capability to put oneself in a situation to understand the emotions, feelings of other people. In nursing however, it could be argued that there are many conflicting agendas relating to the constraints of the healthcare environment and the nurse-patient relationship which make it inadvisable for the nurse to be privy to such information. Power is a central influence in nursing practice and this means that nurses should be encouraged to seek an understanding of the way that it operates in the social context that they work in. Comparisons between the counsellor-client and nurse-patient relationship are perhaps helpful to identify possible tensions. An analysis of the concept indicates that empathy consists of moral, emotive, cognitive and behavioral components. Chowdhry S (2010) Exploring the concept of empathy in nursing: can it lead to abuse of patient trust? This means that we should clarify with our patients whether they wish to have their innermost feelings and personal logic documented or shared with the health care team. It follows that the responses of nurses is politically significance yet nurses are often unaware of this power and are portrayed as victims (Hart, 2004). More specifically, empathy forms part of the ‘core conditions’ along with congruence (being genuine and transparent) and unconditional positive regard (being non-judgemental) (Rogers, 1951). Viewing nursing within the context of the political influences which govern its practice is helpful in gaining an understanding of the constraints and power relations that are omnipresent within the healthcare environment. Within counselling literature, empathy is defined as having the capacity to identify and understand another individual’s emotions and feelings. 2016 Apr;39:12-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2016.01.019. To do this, I will be exploring the concept of empathy from a psychological perspective as well as the nursing perspective. While this appears to be innocent enough; perhaps reflecting a desire to improve patient care, closer examination reveals that compassion appears to have become a commodity or a product of the healthcare system (Por, 2008). HHS Core conditions are considered to be of equal importance as they are all required to allow an individual to reconnect with their ‘true self’ and move forward in their lives in their own individual way. Interest in this aspect of nursing practice is influenced by government agendas aimed at improving the image of the NHS. Many argue that empathy is indispensable to effective nursing practice. By listening and communicating we can understand and guide our patients. 2. USA.gov. According to von Dietze and Orb (2000), the focus of empathy is intellectual or professional and this allows nurses to remain detached from their patients. However, a more troubling disagreement underlies these debates: There's no consensus on how to define empathy. Then I will discuss how this concept applies to my care scenario and how it relates to professional caring in nursing. By tracing the integration of this concept into nursing, we suggest that empathy was uncritically adopted from psychology and is actually a poor fit for the clinical reality of nursing practice. The focus on tasks is influenced by the medical model and sometimes this is referred to as ‘old nursing’. This work has influenced the concept of patient-centred care which emerged from discourses of the ‘self’ in the 1960s. The influence of government agendas on nursing is evident in the response to events at Stafford Hospital (Rose, 2010) and the inquiry into care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust (Department of Health, 2010). The concept of empathy lies amid much confusion This analysis addresses that confusion using Walker and Avant's model of concept analysis, and looks at what empathy is is it trait or state, is it dynamic or static, and how is it recognized and measured' Implications of these findings are discussed, limitations of the study are acknowledged and areas for further work suggested The term empathy originates from the German word Einfühlung and was first used by Robert Vischer in 1873 to describe the projection of human feeling on to the natural world. Empathy, as initially described by Rogers, reflected a deep desire to understand and enter into the experience of another human being may become in healthcare a method of gaining trust and obtaining information. However, this li… Exploring the concept of empathy in nursing: can it lead to abuse of patient trust? 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