How do you measure compassion on your ward? Asks Mike Clift, Whittington NHS Trust
Mike opened his presentation by saying that compassion is recognised as a core nursing value worldwide, yet there is little evidence of what nurses think compassion is and how it is ‘practiced’. To have compassionate nurses we need to understand what it is, be able to recognise compassionate behaviour and nurture the development of compassionate nurses. Secondly, in the light of the Francis report, how do we know how compassionate our organizations are? Can this be measured?
Aim and objectives:
To build a model of compassion that describes the concept, the behaviours and skills required to articulate compassion in practice. To establish a framework for the measurement of compassion.
218 nurses were surveyed and asked ‘what does compassion mean to you’ and ‘give me an example of compassion’. The responses were coded separately by two researchers using an inductive thematic approach. The themes generated described the components of compassion in the words of the nurses who took part.
Various quality and risk departments and stakeholders were involved to create a data map of existing ‘compassion data’
Analysis and Results:
A model was constructed that reflected the themes expressed. The examples of compassion were also coded in order to identify key behaviours important to the expression of compassion. The required skills for compassionate practice completed the three-stage model.
Nurses predominantly identified compassion as empathising and caring, demonstrated by communicating with and helping their patients. Understanding, showing kindness, feeling sympathy and acting at the right time were also expressed as element of compassion in nursing.
A map of existing and proposed compassion data was generated and a compassion quality group proposed.
Articulating what compassion means should be a priority for Nursing and this model provides an important conceptual step in operationalising ideas about what compassion looks like in practice. The expression of compassion in our working lives can then be recognised, nurtured and measured and nurses can be enabled to learn skills that will empower them to demonstrate compassion more skillfully
Operationalising the concept of compassion into a meaningful 3 part model has facilitated the development of strategies to enable us to build a more skillful and compassionate workforce for the future.
Mike concluded his presentation by saying that data collected that can be collated by a stakeholder group to create a picture of the quality of compassion at healthcare organisations.
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Events of interest:
Download: Mike Clift Presentation16 October 2014