Empathy Essay

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Empathy can be defined many ways by many different people, but at the core of every definition is the attempt to understand and care for another. In general, empathy is a positive attribute. The discussion and research regarding empathy in the patient encounter is very important because the healthcare field is one of the most important places empathy is needed, longed for, and noticed if missing. Patients notice when they are shown empathy and it impacts many aspects of their health and future healthcare interactions. Empathy is critical in the healthcare field, but often times hard to convey. For this reason, many people have to make a point to try and show empathy. This is where the fine line of the benefits of empathy and the negative…show more content…
If the Jefferson Scale of Empathy was compared to the CARE scale for the same pharmacists, the data would not match up. Often times people cannot accurately judge their own level of empathy because it is a trait easier evaluated by others. Many pharmacists view themselves as being nice and empathetic when patients may view them as being fake and uncaring. Someone can have good intentions and be a nice person without showing empathy. It is likely that pharmacists who think that are strong at showing empathy could probably benefit from seeing the CARE scores patients rate them with in order to see what areas they need to work on. For example, someone may not realize they don’t make others feel at ease because they themselves are at ease and do not see or recognize what they are doing to make someone else uncomfortable. The most difficult aspect of empathy in pharmacy practice is the lack of time. This affects both community and institutional settings. This barrier prohibits pharmacists from being able to let the patient their full story, or truly take the time to listen to just that one patient to give them the attention and advice they need. Time plays a role in every aspect of the CARE scale, and if time were not a factor, then pharmacist and all healthcare workers would be able to show a greater level of empathy for patients. Lastly, I believe sympathy is a barrier to showing true empathy. As important as empathy is, it is often much easier to show someone sympathy because everyone is not experiencing the same things and trying to understand someone else’s feelings can be difficult and

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