Living Our Values
Empathy and Compassion
Empathy and Compassion are at the heart of the work of The Ohio State University Medical Center. Practicing Empathy and Compassion means being caring, respectful, and encouraging to patients, visitors, and colleagues. It also means being sensitive to individual needs, and actively listening and seeking ways to improve the OSU Medical Center experience.
While the Medical Center values list includes “Empathy and Compassion,” practicing this value can benefit everyone. Developing strong, caring relationships improves the experience for students, patients, and visitors, creates positive interactions with colleagues, makes collaboration easier, and leads to stronger results.
Here are some tips to help you actively demonstrate Empathy and Compassion:
- Be fully present as often as you can. The most important person is the one you are with at the moment. Practicing Be Here Now builds a trusting relationship by showing the person you value their time and input.
- Listen for understanding. Look beyond what people are saying and listen to the feelings and perspective behind the words. If a patient keeps calling you to their room, think about whether they need water - or companionship and reassurance. If a normally talkative colleague is brusque, don't assume they are being rude; rather there may be something unrelated that is causing additional stress. Slowing down to hear what’s really going on helps you identify ways you can be supportive.
- Assume innocence. Generally, people do the best they can, given the circumstances. Assuming positive intent fosters open communication. When you assume negative motives, you may close yourself off from a relationship you will need later.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Everyone has different experiences and knowledge. Ask yourself, how is the other person feeling? How might their filters affect their perception? What might they know that is different from what you know? Answer questions with patience - what seems like common knowledge to you may be completely new to others.