Showing empathy?

  1. 0
    Alright, so today was my 2nd day of nursing school (so far its awesome ). Soon we will start "role playing" and one of the things we're going into is showing empathy. I was wondering if anyone can give me an example of empathy being used? That would be awesome and very helpful. How exactly should I go about this. I'm asking because I feel like I could mess that up (yeah i know dumb thing to mess up). The thing is, I'm sure that if I were with a real person, then this would come naturally. However, we are doing this with mannequins and I just know it wont come naturally because I cant really take a mannequin THAT serious (or another student) haha. So an example/idea would be great!
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  4. 1
    Really, all empathy is, is I understand how you feel and it must be hard. So Mr. Mannequin, I understand how hard it is for you to be rubber and plastic. Trust me, you will only have one question on this for a test By the way, LOVE the Red XIII name - Final fantasy rocks! Email if you have any other questions! You'll be fine!
    carolmaccas66 likes this.
  5. 11
    I was wondering if anyone can give me an example of empathy being used?

    What do you feel when you look at this turtle?

    dudette10, MInurse.st, happy2learn, and 8 others like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from kellyblizzard
    Really, all empathy is, is I understand how you feel and it must be hard. So Mr. Mannequin, I understand how hard it is for you to be rubber and plastic. Trust me, you will only have one question on this for a test By the way, LOVE the Red XIII name - Final fantasy rocks! Email if you have any other questions! You'll be fine!

    Thank you Yeah Final Fantasy is amazing I just finished reading for tomorrow, so I will will enjoy some Final Fantasy 9 before bed haha.



    @Flying ICU RN: I feel bad for it
  7. 4
    Therapeutic communication, ooh that was the worst part of nursing school for me.

    "Tell me how you feel." You know the open ended questions to help understand how your pt feels. Never use the word 'Why' when talking to the mannequin.
    bonn_bai, Ruger, Not_A_Hat_Person, and 1 other like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from RedhairedNurse
    Therapeutic communication, ooh that was the worst part of nursing school for me.

    "Tell me how you feel." You know the open ended questions to help understand how your pt feels. Never use the word 'Why' when talking to the mannequin.

    haha yeah I think it'll be the worst part for me as well. Thanks for the tip!
  9. 3
    One tip: never say you understand how someone feels. You don't and can't, and you run the risk of shutting off all further communication if you say you do. You may have gone through the same thing, losing a limb, for example, but your experience is not necessarily the same as your patient's experience and many patients will feel insulted and that you are devaluing their unique experience if you tell them you "understand." Much better to offer them the chance to talk about their experiences to you (if they want to). (Not that I expect Mr Mannequin to be too chatty!)
    llaura, Ruger, and elkpark like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from maxthecat
    One tip: never say you understand how someone feels. You don't and can't, and you run the risk of shutting off all further communication if you say you do. You may have gone through the same thing, losing a limb, for example, but your experience is not necessarily the same as your patient's experience and many patients will feel insulted and that you are devaluing their unique experience if you tell them you "understand." Much better to offer them the chance to talk about their experiences to you (if they want to). (Not that I expect Mr Mannequin to be too chatty!)

    Okay, so someone tells me about their experience. What would be something I would/should say?
  11. 1
    Maybe something like, "That sounds scary (or whatever emotion) to me. How are you handling it? Is there anything I can do to help?" You mainly want to encourage them to do more talking than you, so you have a better chance of finding out what will help. Another approach would be to use the much-parodied but still useful "mirroring" technique, where they say something and you repeat it back to see if you are getting their message correct. "I hear you saying you are worried you won't be able to be as active as you used to be."

    Is your mannequin going to have some sort of script, and you react to that? I've never heard of doing this kind of exercise with a mannequin--you lose all the non-verbal communication, for one thing.

    Or are they looking more for empathy as shown by keeping the patient covered for privacy, explaining what you are going to do and then moving him gently, etc?
    RedXIII_ likes this.
  12. 1
    I work as a tech in an ED, primarily with mental health patients, and try to acknowledge their feelings of panic, fright, sadness, fear of the unknown, etc.

    I try to say things (and mean them!) like "I realize that this room can be intimidating" and asking if they have ever been to our hospital for anything similar. I ask if they would like me to explain the general routine of how their visit will be handled, etc.

    I also try to use light humor (depending on the patient's response) and, when leaving the room, tell them to let me know if they need anything.
    Ruger likes this.


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