Few people would list being in hospital admission as a nice way to spend time.
Besides the fact that most hospital patients will be feeling unwell, they are also in unfamiliar surroundings, away from friends, family and their usual routines. So it’s little wonder that some patients feel vulnerable and helpless.
This means hospital patients can be far more sensitive if they feel the care they receive lacks compassion or empathy. And the situation is exacerbated for those with reduced functioning or cognitive problems that make it difficult for them to understand their situation.
Our series on patient narratives continues with a discussion of empathy; it encourages you to reflect on how you behave towards particularly vulnerable patients, and whether you could do anything to make their time in your care easier.
Ann Shuttleworth is practice and learning editor of Nursing Times.