I was having an interesting conversation the other day with a nurse friend. Let me pose this question to everyone:
required to be a good nurse?
Can an uncompassionate
person be a good nurse?
What are your thoughts?
Apr 21, '12
by Ashley, PICU RN
Yes, some degree of compassion is required, but you don't have to be over the top, filled with compassion for every living creature, etc.
Compassion is needed to positively interact with other people in any line of work. You have to be able to recognize their needs and care about meeting them. A total lack of compassion pretty much guarantees you will come off as heartless and uncaring.
Compassion isn't a personality trait that you either have or your don't. You aren't 100% compassionate or 0% compassionate. Compassion, just like most personality traits, exists on a spectrum. It's different for each person. No one is completely devoid of all compassion. Unless you're a sociopath or something.
Some people might have more compassion than others, but there isn't some magical amount of compassion that makes you a good nurse. A lot of other factors go into determining if you will be a competent nurse. A super compassionate person might be an ineffective nurse if they lack other skills and traits.
Last edit by Ashley, PICU RN on Apr 21, '12
Apr 22, '12
by not.done.yet, BSN, RN
Compassion has a lot of different looks to it. In one situation it may be an emotional sympathy. In another, it may be the firm drawing of boundaries. I very often push back from what the definition of "compassion" seems to be on this board. A lot of people post here wanting compassion in the form of platitudes, false reassurances and pretty little lies. I find dealing with things in a truthful way to be the most compassionate means of interacting. I find a lot of patients and families are the same in terms of wanting pretty reassurances that don't necessary deal with reality. So sometimes my form of "compassion" is not appreciated and I have to act in a way that seems compassionate to them but feels very wrong to me.
Last edit by not.done.yet on Apr 22, '12