Essay Sample on Nursing Empathy and Values

Published: 2023-04-02
Essay Sample on Nursing Empathy and Values
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Nursing care Interpersonal communication Emotional intelligence Human services
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1200 words
10 min read

Empathy in nursing, unlike other professions, is appreciating and tolerating another person's perspective. As a nurse empathy is about putting ourselves in the position of the patient and thinking beyond our concerns as nurses while focusing on the concerns of the patient. Human nature most of the times do not allow most nurses to suspend their viewpoint and belief to accommodate the perspectives of others. Expressing empathy, being an interpersonal skill is a value that cannot be taught. Below is a narrative personal reflection on some of the most important personal values from a nursing student explaining the process of empathy and how it can be gained.

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Personal Concerns About a Leg Injury

An injury of the leg as a patient brings a lot of concerns, especially in mind. The anxiety and fears revolve around how the injury affects in terms of physical, emotional and social well-being. As a patient below are some concerns about how the accident injury might affect some of the most important personal concerns that as a patient I could look up to.

The main personal physical concern is the fear of not being able to walk. Surgery on the leg limits movement, as a patient there are bits of help of mobility I might require. Being dependent on other people to walk is quite hectic especially on the case that as a patient, I have never done it before. Another physical concern regards the pain that an injured leg has especially after surgery. The pain might be too much to overcome since nothing like it has ever happened to me before. I cannot rate to what extent I can be able to handle the physical pain that comes with surgery and a leg involved in an accident.

Emotionally, having never been to surgery it is a personal concern if I will be able to keep down my anxieties regarding the surgical procedure. Anxiety levels might emotionally rise moments before the procedure and slightly after the procedure. A second emotional issue that is a personal concern is the recovery duration. An extensive rehab is something quite difficult to follow through. It requires a lot of input something that is a psychological challenge especially since I have never been to rehab before.

Socially, my concern involves my kids who apart from me have no one else to rely upon. The surgery will also risk my ability to take care of them in the future, especially after the leg injury. These family concerns might be slight but might affect and change their lives forever. My last social and personal concern is regarding financial responsibilities. Since I am the one fending for the family, staying in the hospital would mean the family will lack some essential needs due to financial constraints.

Physical and Emotional Needs

There are needs that I require as a patient before and after the surgery. My needs are supposed to be achieved by the nurse caring for me, which is not something to look up to. Being a leg injury, there is needed to help in terms of mobility. Apart from movement, some other physical activities that I cannot manage on my own will require help; for example, change of gown and showering. Lastly, after the surgery pain management is a health need that I will depend on the nurse. Emotionally, I only might get concerned about the well-being of my family. I need to know they are good with me taking the surgery and that they are supportive of the procedure.

Type of Communication Helpful to me as a Patient

The best type of communication the nurse could apply is good, speedy and honest communication. Good, speedy and honest communication sets up a platform for quality standards for communication. As a patient, I expect that good communication is one where I could easily understand the nurse. Speedy communication is about informing me early enough about procedures and honesty is just being truthful on the effects that the procedure will have on me.

How Should the Nurse Show Compassion?

The best way in which the nurse should show compassion is through detailing the procedure. Detailing procedure is all about explaining the procedure to me, its effects on me and how this procedure was the best possible solution. By doing so I get to trust the nurse and lose pre-surgical anxiety. The nurse can also be compassionate by assuring me through a detailed explanation of how the procedure will be successful.

The Potential Situation as a Nurse

From a nurse's perspective, it is hard to care for a patient knowing they have done something ill. I have no empathy for domestic abusers. Suffering as a child, under a domestic abuser made me have very little contempt about them. Being a victim of domestic violence, it would be challenging to hold empathy for a domestic abuser who is my patient.

My underlying belief which limits my empathy for domestic abusers stems from my obligation to implement actions that benefit clients. My value for human dignity would be challenged since I cannot protect a child abuser with the same respect as other patients. If I pretend to care about him, I will only be judgmental which is unprofessional. My aspect of justice limits my situation of providing empathy to child abusers. Treating everyone equally as an obligation is also challenged.

Best Communication Enhancers

As a nurse, one of the best communication enhancers is listening. Listening to the perspective of the patient removes particular assumptions previously insinuated by me about them (the patients) (Sweet, & Broadbent, 2017). Listening to the patient provides a new lens to which I can assess the situation. Another communication enhancer is verbal engagement. Verbal engagement helps me as a nurse emotionally connects with the patient. I can derive particular psychological needs only through verbal engagement.

Communication Blockers

The two worst communication blockers between me as a nurse and my patient might be disapproving statements. The disapproving statement makes the patient feel ashamed and they also tend to hold back thereby hiding facts from the nurse (Sweet, & Broadbent, 2017). Another communication blocker is avoiding following the sequencing questions. A patient failing to connect the dots between events might switch off from communicating anymore. Putting events in sequence makes the patient open up even further.

To make communication less challenging with a child abuser so that I don't indiscriminate care I might need to control my tone and limit my facial expression. Controlling my tone will enhance an open mind which makes me not to see the person as a child abuser but as a patient. Additionally, asking for help from other seniors would also help control my negative feelings about the person.

From my perspective, it is clear that empathy is nursing is really important. Empathy helps the nurse connect to their patient. It also dictates the kind of care that the nurse will provide to their patient. However, personal values, ethics, and beliefs limit the way nurses provide empathy to patients. Patients with limited morals might not receive empathy as expected.


Sweet, L., & Broadbent, J. (2017). Nursing students' perceptions of the qualities of a clinical facilitator that enhance learning. Nurse education in practice, 22, 30-36.

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