Blog Post by Joe Babaian
This time of year is often referred to as the dog days summer. I can’t say if that applies universally, but here in southeast Texas, the moniker is apt! I am watching many of our #hcldr friends and peers working tirelessly and not slowing down, even during these traditionally hot, lazy days of August. What a refreshing blast of cool air! Just browsing through the #hcldr Tweetstream, I am reminded of the dedication and ongoing commitment from so many. Are you watching, too? I know you are!
The photo above is one that is near and dear to me since it says more in a single snapshot than a book full of promises. I often wonder what happened to this little girl and her Stormtrooper friend? Perhaps that is not for us to consider – more we take away the living proof of what matters in healthcare. Take a moment, look at the photo, and tell us, what matters? Everyone’s answer will be different, but compassion and empathy always play a key role. I’ll argue that without compassion and empathy, what we do in healthcare will always fall just a little short. Fortuanleuty, both of these traits are in good supply everywhere I look! I like this discussion of compassion, empathy, and altruism:
Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering.
Compassion is not the same as empathy or altruism, though the concepts are related. While empathy refers more generally to our ability to take the perspective of and feel the emotions of another person, compassion is when those feelings and thoughts include the desire to help. Altruism, in turn, is the kind, selfless behavior often prompted by feelings of compassion, though one can feel compassion without acting on it, and altruism isn’t always motivated by compassion.
I love words and in this case, it’s worth our time to understand the differences here and how these three traits interact and yet are uniquely different. None of them should exist in a vacuum.
Let’s spend some time this week thinking about What Matters In Healthcare and how we are all a part of that! I know the #hcldr community is bursting at the seams when it comes to this discussion!
Please join us Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at 8:30 pm ET (for your local time click here) as we discuss the following topics:
- T1: How does compassion differ from empathy in your healthcare world? Examples?
- T2: How does your approach to compassion and empathy impact the results you want to see professionally and personally?
- T3: What is the greatest need in healthcare when it comes to “What Matters In Healthcare” and how do we address that need?
- T4: What have your experiences taught you about what difference one person can make in healthcare? Large or small?
Compassion Defined. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/compassion/definition
Photo Credit: https://imgur.com/a/mO80Npj