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Rick Body - Is Compassion a Patient Right?


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Rick Body’s SMACC Chicago talk 'Is compassion a Patients Right?' takes us on a journey of emotions in critical care.

Body, initially focuses on a study conducted within his hospital of 125 patients, who were interviewed when admitted to their emergency department and when they where discharged. From the study it was depicted that, what patients truely wanted was simple human intervention; reassurance, friendliness, explanation, basic care. These responses were then coded into 5 different themes to depict how patients believe their suffering should be addressed;

1. Emotional distress
2. Physical symptoms - including pain (but not restricted to)
3. Information - Included reassurance and explanation
4. Care - Basic care
5. Closure - patients want to put this horrible episode behind them

Body notes that patients are telling us that they want something positive from us. They don’t want us to focus on what we shouldn’t do. They want us to be thinking about what we can do to help… suggesting that if we follow the above ‘EPPIC' we could provide more compassionate care. The problem is this is not compassion as compassion is an emotion and needs to be felt.

Body then explores whats stopping us (care providers) from showing compassion? Sighting the The Good Smaritian Study, The By Standers Affect, Unclear of Who is Responsible, and Personal Reasons.

Body believes that patients don’t have a right to compassion as it is an emotion and means to suffer with but asks for health providers to be emotionally intelligent. Explaining that emotional Intelligence recognises that there is a difference between traditional intelligence, IQ and our ability to form effective forms of interpersonal relationships. Siting the 5 domains of emotions intelligence as;
1. Know your emotions - know what we are feeling
2. Manage your emotions - cool rational and object in the rests room, show emotion with patients and family
3. Motivating ones self
4. Recognising emotions in others - empathy
5. Handling Relationships - interpersonal Skills - relate to other people

Body suggest that these are skills that can be developed as ones life goes on and by building skills in emotional intelligence that maybe one can be both a compassionate and effective doctor.

Body concludes by asking the question 'How are you going to care more for your patients?'

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Rick Body - Is Compassion a Patient Right?

  1. 1. Is compassion a patient’s right? BEGINNING
  2. 2. This talk is about compassion BEGINNING
  3. 3. MIDDLE: CONCEPT 1. Where are we?
  4. 4. Image by Steven Depolo on flickr
  5. 5. In what way are you suffering? Body et al, EMJ. doi:10.1136/emermed-2013-202860
  6. 6. Body et al, EMJ. doi:10.1136/emermed-2013-202860 What are you hoping for?
  7. 7. Body et al, EMJ. doi:10.1136/emermed-2013-202860 What has eased your suffering?
  8. 8. MIDDLE: CONCEPT 1. The Future
  9. 9. What stops us from feeling compassion? • “LET’S FACE THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR UNCARING, SELFISH AND CRUEL NHS” – The Telegraph, 8th Feb 2013 MIDDLE: CONCEPT 2. Where are we?
  10. 10. The Good Samaritan Study • Why are healthcare providers sometimes not compassionate? Bystander effect. Good Samaritan study (Darley and Batson 1973. 63% low hurry stopped, 45% medium, 10% high hurry stopped. MIDDLE: CONCEPT 2. Where are we?
  11. 11. Compassion fatigue • What is compassion fatigue? • What causes it? • How can we get past it? Mother Teresa – her Sisters must take a year off every 4-5 years • We can get past this. We must get past this. Look into the eyes of the patient… • Must finish with an example of the importance of compassion MIDDLE: CONCEPT 2. Where are we leading to what is the future?
  12. 12.
  13. 13. But is compassion a patient right? MIDDLE: CONCEPT 3. Where are we? What's a RIGHT?
  14. 14. What about the right to good clinical care? Which is more important? • Is clinical ability inversely proportional to bedside manner? • Which do patients value more? MIDDLE: CONCEPT 3. Where are we?
  15. 15. 17
  16. 16. "Sépulcre Arc-en-Barrois" by Vassil CC via Wikimedia Commons
  17. 17. KNOW your emotions MANAGE your emotions MOTIVATE yourself Have EMPATHY RELATE to others
  18. 18. 20
  19. 19. 21