Compassion: Where has it gone to and how do we get it back?

prime-logoPresented by Dr. John Geater MBE, International Director, PRIME Partnerships in International Medical Education

Inspiration from scripture:

Mark 1: v 40-41 Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out his hand and touched him.

Col 3:12 clothed with compassion

Romans 13 v 9 love your neighbour as yourself.

Sometimes compassion is all we have to offer.  It lifts isolation and brings hope.

NHS darkest hour with Mid-Staffs disaster. Cardinal values RCP. Compassion, altruism, integrity. Studies to support the giving of compassion do show improved survival.

‘Patient-centredness’  BMJ 2001 ….higher referrals without this. BJGP 2013 effectiveness of empathy ….better outcomes and enablement. Empathic doctors less burn out, better immunity. Health-promoting chemicals released with compassion. ‘Nurse training has eroded caring ethos.’  Compassion crosses religious and cultural boundaries.

What factors make us more compassionate? Emotional labour of the smile. Only one source of  compassion…God. Recognition of mutual humanity. Brokenness with help to come through to be there for others. Time being available to be human and not consumed with targets.

Some are naturally gifted at being more alongside. As we receive compassion and Gods grace. Understanding their journey

And less compassionate? When someone is hurting you. Fear engendered by seniors, normalisation of situation as group learns wrong values.

Too close to home, no capacity to take on the needs of others when in need of self-care. Some have bad memories of physical illness. Through-put leads to compassion fatigue.  Lack of support emotionally. Emphasis on professional tasks. If system militates against compassion. Seemingly making a fuss about nothing. Running a business. Too easy to knock nursing degrees.

Empty souls and lack of thankfulness to God. Compassion needs to be defined by the recipient.


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