Compassionate care is a crucial component of care

I remember when my best friend was in the hospital thirty years ago and I brought her 3 year old daughter to visit. My friend could not speak. She could only blink one eye and was paralyzed on one side. How she was able to communicate was through the blink of her one eye. I felt her energy of wanting to spend time with those she loved. It was Christmastime and I brought a Santa Claus plastic ring for my friend to give to her daughter. I softly whispered in her ear as I was gently putting the ring in her hand and told her that she could then place it in her daughter’s hand. I know my friend felt the compassion in those moments and I will never forget how I felt when tears filled up in my eyes. That memory will always stay with me. Compassionate moments are treasured forever. I received and gave compassion in those brief moments.

Have you ever met someone and their presence gave you the feeling of comfort, caring, warmth, understanding and you just felt so loved being around them? They listened attentively to every word you spoke. What they said to you were just the right words at the right time that you needed to hear. How they looked at you was so telling of compassion. Their eyes were focused on yours. They understood just what you needed and they showed up at just the right time. Their comforting touch of their hand on yours gave you the message, “I care about you.” You felt their compassion. Their energy was of true empathy of what you were going through and just being there made a positive difference in your life. You felt their presence even in silence. They freely gave a part of themselves to you and you accepted it graciously and it made a difference. When we receive compassion, we feel comforted and understood. Someone just being present to emanate their compassionate energy may be all that is needed. Words may not even be spoken. It is touching the heart of another.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word compassion is defined as sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. Consciousness is the state of being aware. So we can feel someone’s compassion for us. We can feel when someone needs compassion from us and we give it knowing and believing that being there for someone else will make a positive difference in their life, even for a few moments. Compassion gives us peace and we feel the calming energy of the other person. We know intuitively when someone needs compassion. We can feel that they are in need of comfort and we can be there for them.

What about the person who gives the compassion? It may be uncomfortable at times to know how to give compassion to someone who is experiencing a time of distress and discomfort. How do we go about giving compassion in situations we may have never experienced before? It is in the being there for someone and wanting to assist them that will make all the difference. We may not need to do anything. We may just touch them gently and give them the message that I am here for you whenever you need me. These are the messages of compassion. Being genuinely compassionate is showing, feeling, understanding, and listening to what is needed and providing it with the right tone of voice, a simple touch, a loving glance and a listening attentiveness.  They feel your presence, your energy. When you give compassion it will always be remembered. When you receive compassion you will always hold that memory in your heart. You can make a difference in someone’s life. Compassionate care is a crucial component of care. We must reinforce the importance of providing compassionate care as it does make a positive impact on all of our lives.

Joyce Hyam is a nurse and speaker who teaches positive mindset and communication strategies to promote well-being in healthcare.  She can be reached at Law of Attraction Trainers.

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