At the CENTER FOR ADVANCED SPINE CARE OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA we aim to communicate sensitively with patients and the patient’s loved ones, by listening carefully, showing empathy and instilling a sense of hope, respect for the patient’s values, culture decisions, and understanding the significance of the patient’s family and community.
You Have the Right to Compassionate Health Care. Every patient has the right to compassionate care. Compassionate caregivers are sensitive and empathic, demonstrating the following qualities:
- Respect for you and your family
- Ability to understand your needs
- Strong communication, listening and interpersonal skills
- Ability to impart strength and hope
- Availability to you, especially in times of crisis
- Ability to think and act creatively
You will improve your chances for compassionate care if you:
- Come to the visit prepared not only with your questions but also willing to share your concerns.
- Remember that your caregiver cannot read your mind so be sure to express all your thoughts and worries.
- Tell your caregiver everything you know about your health, medical history, and what you think may have caused your problem.
- Take part in health care decisions. Address your concerns, both clinical and non-clinical (quality of life, work life, sex life) up front with as much detail as possible. Let the caregiver know what is important to you.
- Bring a friend of family member with you if you are worried you will not be understood or if you want support.
- Ask for a qualified language interpreter if you need one.
- Make sure the caregiver is talking in words you can understand and ask for an explanation of any medical terms you do not understand.
- Tell your caregiver about all the health care professionals you are seeing, including alternative ones (e.g., chiropractors and acupuncturists) or any remedies traditional to your culture that you are taking.
- Show caregivers you are interested in them. Ask a question about how they are doing.
- Take notes and feel free to ask for written information. Repeat any suggested treatment plan and feel free to ask the caregiver to write down his/her suggestions.
- Ask what you can expect regarding the treatment process (e.g., side effects) and healing process.
- The more open you are and the more you understand and participate in your own care, the more likely you will receive compassionate care. If you feel you are not getting the compassionate care you deserve, talk to your caregiver. If the situation does not improve, look for another caregiver.
Adopted from The Schwartz Center at http://www.theschwartzcenter.org