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How do you measure compassion on your ward? Asks Mike Clift, Whittington NHS Trust

Mike CliftMike Clift

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:

Masterclass: Nursing Revalidation
Tuesday 21 October 2014 London

Eliminating Avoidable Pressure Ulcers
Monday 3 November 2014 London

Effective Clinical Supervision Skills
Thursday 6 November 2014 

Masterclass: Nurse Led Discharge
Friday 7 November 2014 London

Embedding a Culture of Collective Healthcare Leadership Post Francis
Friday 14 November 2014 London

Nursing Staffing Levels and Skill Mix In Mental Health
Monday 17 November 2014 London

Nurse Clinics 2014
Wednesday 19 November 2014 Birmingham

Out of Hours Care in Hospital
Tuesday 2 December 2014 London

Hospital Care at Night
Tuesday 2 December 2014 London

Nurse Prescribing
Friday 5 December 2014 London

Non-Medical Prescribing
Friday 5 December 2014 London

Caldicott Guardian Training Course
Tuesday 9 December 2014 London

Nursing Appraisal and Revalidation
Tuesday 9 December 2014 Manchester

Effective Nurse Director
Tuesday 13 January 2015 London

Nurse Appraisal and Revalidation in Mental Health
Wednesday 14 January 2015 London

Safe Staffing: Nursing Staffing Levels and Skillmix
Tuesday 27 January 2015 London

Advancing IV Therapy
Thursday 29 January 2015 London

Masterclass: Nursing Revalidation
Tuesday 10 February 2015 London

The National Quality Standard for Surgical Site Infection
Thursday 12 February 2015 London

Effective Clinical Supervision Skills
Thursday 14 May 2015 London

Download: Mike Clift Presentation

16 October 2014


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