Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tracy's Talk On Compassion @ Hey Clinic Weekly Quality Meeting Thu Nov 8 2007

Tracy, one of our Hey Clinic associates,  shared with us this week in our weekly Quality Conference, on the meaning of “Compassion”, one of our Core Values.
Thanks for sharing from the heart, Tracy!
Dr. Lloyd Hey

Compassion by definition is a
feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. Not to be confused with empathy, as being compassionate towards another takes it one step further – coming up with a solution to help that person.  Compassion is often characterized through actions.  These acts generally take into consideration the pain of others and attempt to alleviate the pain or fix the problem.  (such as with surgery, medications, or to just lend a helping hand, etc). Often people have a lack of compassion if their own pain albeit mental or physical is so great that they can not recognize the pain of others.  In the healthcare industry, compassion for others is key.  It’s the name of the game.  Whether it be for a patient who is suffering or a coworker who is struggling with an issue, compassion is imperative.  If we stop thinking negatively about someone, we can have a clearer view of the good qualities in that person.  Being negative only hurts you on the inside. Negativity, anger, gossip, etc. causes one to feel shame at the end of the day rather than leaving you with a rewarding feeling.  We should remember that we may not know anything about the circumstances in a person’s life or what that person might be struggling with.  While compassion with our patients and coworkers is important, we all must remember to have self-compassion as well. Knowing that you work hard and give it all you’ve got on a daily basis will give you the confidence you need to help someone else.  You must believe in yourself.  You will not be perfect always.  The flesh is weak and we all fail at times; but being too hard on yourself will trickle into all areas of your life and others’ lives.  I recommend a book titled, “Don’t Die On My Shift” written by William Sayers.  It is a true story of a patient with polio and was in an iron lung (respirator) for 13 years.  His only view of the world was from a mirror on the iron lung.  He describes being in excruciating pain and asking a nurse for water.  The nurse kept walking by, saying, “I’m not your nurse.”  We often must remember that although our patients, coworkers, and even our own self may seem “crazy” at times, we are all God’s creatures and should be treated as such.  Always keep in mind that you are everyone’s “nurse”, even your own. You may make the difference between unhappiness and true happiness for someone.    

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