Sometimes the smart thing doesn’t work.
After all, if it was as easy as just telling a patient that smoking is detrimental to their health, wouldn’t they immediately quit?
But of course, reality is much more complicated.
Patients need to feel a human connection; they need to feel trust to make changes.
Empathy changes how patients feel about their care, but it can also change their responses to questions and compliance with recommendations.
In other words, empathy might actually change the kind of treatment they receive.
When people feel like we’re taking that extra moment to listen to them, to reflect on what they are saying, to let them know we care… it makes a difference.
A huge difference.