Baguley SI, Pavlova A, Consedine NS. More than a feeling? What does compassion in healthcare ‘look like’ to patients?. Health Expect. 2022; 25:(4)1691-1702

Bivins R, Tierney S, Seers K. Compassionate care: not easy, not free, not only nurses. BMJ Qual Saf. 2017; 26:(12)1023-1026

Kawar LN, Radovich P, Valdez RM, Zuniga S, Rondinelli J. Compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction among multisite multisystem nurses. Nurs Adm Q. 2019; 43:(4)358-369

Kline R, Lewis D. The price of fear: Estimating the financial cost of bullying and harassment to the NHS in England. Public Money & Management. 2019; 39:(3)166-174

Peters E. Compassion fatigue in nursing: A concept analysis. Nurs Forum. 2018; 53:(4)466-480

Zhang YY, Han WL, Qin W Extent of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue and burnout in nursing: A meta-analysis. J Nurs Manag. 2018; 26:(7)810-819

What compassion looks like to patients

02 November 2022
Volume 33 · Issue 11


Sarah Jane Palmer looks at patients' perceptions of compassion and how institutions can protect staff against compassion fatigue

Compassion is an integral part of care: the patient perception of any staff in the care setting, with particular emphasis on nurses, is that compassion would be provided. This is a valid expectation in a setting where a patient is undergoing something involving invasive treatment/experiencing a life threatening emergency – compassion is required in such circumstances to meet the basic human emotional needs of patients. However, with staff retention issues in the NHS being a constant factor in why the health service remains so understaffed, and bullying among health professionals estimated to cost over £2 billion to the NHS each year (Kline and Lewis, 2019) due to the implications it has for staff absence and staff leaving the workforce altogether, we are left facing an NHS beleaguered by dissatisfied and burnt out staff, and as a result, a lack of compassion for patients. Low levels of staff morale and high levels of compassion fatigue are key factors in this.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting Practice Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for general practice nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month