Compassion is a core aspect of care. Without it we simply get bodily repair services (I’ve said this before but it needs repeating). In fact, New Zealand Dr. Robin Youngon’s Compassion in Healthcare is devoted to compassion.
Here’s another tie-in: an old friend and colleague of mine, Paul Shippee of Crestone, Colorado, teaches non-violent communication (NVC). It’s based on the work of The Center for Nonviolent Communication, Marshall B. Rosenberg. I’ve read his book; it’s a stunner.
In an April 2010 interview Paul Shippee opens with this:
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a method for learning how to have compassionate communication with anyone, including yourself. It is based on awakening a natural intention to connect with humanity, with people, and to value everyone’s needs equally. Mindfulness of language is used as a main tool along with techniques that encourage a change of consciousness. All roads in NVC lead to empathy.
Since it’s apparent in many ways that citizens and patient-families need to speak up, step up, and act up in order to minimize and mitigate both intrinsic and extrinsic risks of hospitalization, perhaps we ought to look into CNVC and its trainings. ePatient Dave, in an IHI Patient Activists discussion emanating from his look into the history of social equity movements, wonders whether change in the delivery of hospital care—where providers themselves have documented that change takes an average of 17 years—will ultimately require some patient advocate or activist getting shot.
Who knows? It’s an interesting question. But I feel in my bones that acquiring top-notch nonviolent communication skills as presented by CNVC would be a very smart and useful skillset to acquire.