Compassion, the Core Value in Person-centred Care
Many nurses start their career in healthcare because they are motivated by compassion for others. They choose the nursing profession because they want to be of significance to people who are ill or otherwise troubled. For most of them, compassion remains their main reason for staying at work in nursing jobs every day, despite low wages and a high workload. Care users, such as patients in hospitals and people who need care at home or in a nursing home facility, value nurses who see what is important for them and who show their compassion. It’s therefore remarkable that compassion is not always perceived as an explicit value in nursing practice and education. Questioning this, an explanation might be that it is difficult to fit compassion into the hectic ways of daily practice. Also, in most healthcare systems, every professional is held accountable for the care and quality of care one delivers, and in which evidence-based practice is the golden standard. How does compassion fit into that paradigm? Isn’t compassion a rather old-fashioned and ‘soft’ phenomenon for nurses who are proud to be professionals? This book formulates answers to those and other questions about compassion as a core value for nursing. It shows that compassion is indispensable for good quality of nursing care and even a necessity for evidence-based nursing practice. The book is based on several research studies performed by the author.
Dr Margreet van der Cingel is Professor of Nursing Leadership and Identity at the University of Applied Sciences NHL Stenden and the Medical Centre Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. She is a registered nurse, nurse scientist and researcher (MscN), and holds a PhD in Philosophy. Her dissertation was on compassion in nursing practice as a guiding principle in quality of care, an interest which was guided by her years in daily practice. During her career, she has built up her expertise in qualitative and design research, emancipatory and participatory action research, person-centred care, care ethics and compassion, and professional nursing leadership. Since February 2018, she has run her own research programme on nursing leadership and identity, informed by compassion related to the motivation of nurses.
"I think nurses at all stages of their career, as well as academics and researchers, would benefit from reading this book. It is a small volume packed with information but is easy to read, and the historical threads and influences create a sense of understanding of how compassion has become a core value of person-centred practice in nursing."
Susan Dyer Women’s and Children’s Health Network, North Adelaide, Australia
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