By Ike M. Okoye
When it comes to home healthcare, families want and expect their loved one to be provided with the best possible care – including physical, psychological and emotional care. For the Home Health caregivers, this entails building confidence, teaching independence, empowering the patients to take control of their lives, etc. In addition to providing effective, safe and professional care, the caregivers must also deliver
compassion – a smile, a listening ear, and a kind heart.
Compassion is an invaluable aspect of patient‟s care because it provides the patient with physical and emotional support, which is central to successful patient outcomes. Compassion is the human and moral part of care – it is care given through genuine relationships based on empathy, respect and dignity. In the world of home health care, compassion enables a presence and engagement that puts the patients at ease and
makes them more comfortable around their caregiver – it is the key to quality care.
SO WHAT IS COMPASSION?
Defining compassion is difficult, as everyone has their own personal definition of the word compassion; but Merriam-Webster defines it as the sympathetic awareness of another‟s distress combined with a desire to alleviate it. And the New Oxford American Dictionary defines compassion as “a sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings ormisfortunes of others.”
In general terms, the word compassion alludes to kindness and sympathy; but its true meaning is something deeper, something even more profoundly powerful. The origin of the word is „compati‟ which means “suffer with” in Latin. Compassion translates to someone else‟s pain becoming your pain. Compassion means giving selflessly. When compassion is experienced, a person does not assume or expect reciprocity or an
COMPASSION AS THE FOUNDATION OF PATIENT CENTERED CARE
Today in all aspects of health care, there is a considerable emphasis on the provision of patient centered care. Delivering patient-centered care involves caring for patients beyond their condition and tailoring the care and services to suit their individual wants and needs. It is about understanding that the patients have their own views on what‟s best for them, and have their own values and priorities in life. As the name suggests,
patient-centered care puts the patient at the heart of their care. One of the cardinal principles of patient-centered care is to treat people with dignity,
compassion and respect. And to fulfill this principle, the caregiver must always keep in mind that patients have their own thoughts, feelings, opinions, beliefs, and values, and these don‟t suddenly become invalidated by their needs. Respecting their personal qualities help the patient feel validated and cared for much more wholly: both physically and emotionally. For care to be truly patient-centered, a foundation of compassion is essential.
HIRING FOR COMPASSION AND SUCCESS
At Prompt Home Health, Compassion is our mantra – our commitment is to treat every patient with compassion, respect and expert care. That is why we strive to work only with caregivers who are dependable, empathetic and willing to go the extra mile for the patient and family. Hiring compassionate staff that will take our clients‟ needs into account is critical to our success as home healthcare agency.
Experience in the home healthcare industry is important to ensure practical knowledge and skills, but compassion and empathy are even more significant traits to look out for when hiring nurses, therapists and other caregivers. Our recruitment texts are designed to make sure we recruit only the right people – those whose passion align with ours, and who can be a positive point of support for our clients. Some of the questions we
normally ask the candidates to make sure they‟re the right fit for the job will include:
- What are your core values?
- What specifically attracted you to the home healthcare field? Why?
- What are your priorities in your life and work?
- What is a unique contribution you wish to make to the world in your career?
Providing continuous orientation and skills development courses is also crucial to the success of our employees. This not only shows them how committed we are to compassionate, patient-centered care, but it will also help them hone their skills and become better caregivers.