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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Compassionate and nice people are loved

Every person has a natural yearning or inclination to be liked. And one of the keys to like-ability is compassion. If you are a nice person, this will make up for many of your flaws.

I find this to be true of many people. We have one doctor who works in our emergency room who is the slowest doctor on the planet, and many of the ER nurses can't stand working with him because he is so slow. Yet he is so nice to me I love the man. I look forward to when he is working. He is compassionate, and therefore I like him.

I also find that people with political affiliations I do not agree with are my friends. The reason is that they are awesome and empathetic people. When you care for my feelings, when you are compassionate, I will like you.

I'm sorry, but that's just the way I am. In my book, compassion gains a lot of weight. In the area of like-ability, if you are compassionate to my feelings, if you put me before you, then I like you. That's how I define compassion: you put yourself second. You are humble.

If you are humble, the chances are you will be compassionate. If you put other people before yourself, if you are not arrogant, if you do not judge others, then chances are you are compassionate. Then the chances are I will like you on that ground alone.

Heck, you could be the worse doctor in the world. Yet if you are compassionate, empathetic, and nice, you will be loved. I find this to be true in many cases. And the Trauma Junkie wrote a neat post about compassion here.

Compassion basically means that you are treated as a person. Or, as notes, compassion is "a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering."

In essence, compassion is empathy.

As the Trauma Junkie notes (check out his blog here):
Compassion is your best weapon to treat your patients, and is often your last resort. But it should always be your first.

Compassion is greater than any drug or therapy. It has the power to mend hearts and give hope. And the best thing about it? Compassion inspires compassion. It's a vicious circle, and a vicious cycle. Do you set the example?

I don't know how many of you have ever heard the old adage, "A little oxygen, a warm blanket and a few kind words can go a long way." This couldn't be any more true.

I can't count the number of lives I've saved using invasive procedures or complex therapies. I have no tally for the number of patients I've seen die, or the number that have lived. But I can count the number of times my company has helped better a patient (or family member's) day, because I use it with every patient.

Compassion is funny. Sometimes you see the results, and sometimes you don't. Like all therapies, not all patients are accepting of it. Sometimes, compassion doesn't work. But more often than not, it does.

And the good thing about compassion is that you can pay it forward. Doing a simple favor such as refilling your patient's water pitcher or holding their hand, can come back to you ten-fold in the future. You do a good deed, and you get one in return.

Every day, new therapies and new medications are developed. Advances in treatment are made. But the one thing that has been around since the beginning is sure to work in your favor. Remember that.

Technology is great, but in the mix of numbers and values, we often forget that we are treating a person. A human being like you and I. Treat the patient, not the numbers.

I promise you that if you try it today, you will be a better provider. So what are you waiting for?
So what are you waiting for? Be compassionate? For crying out loud, you are in the medical field. Sure we need people of all personalities, but for the love of God, show some compassion today. Show some empathy.


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