CNH Weekly Service Behaviors – Week 5 of 12: Compassion and Empathy Make a Difference


As you all know, The “C” in our CARES values stands for compassion.  Every other week when I address the new employees for the system, I try to draw out what our values mean to them as they are just joining our two hospitals.  Almost always the word Empathy is used to explain how people view showing compassion in their daily work.

compassion_2It is all about listening to the patients’ and families’ needs and remembering to consider the difficult situation they are in when we interact with them.  To patients and families, it’s what they need – and what creates a feeling of comfort.  When we learn of a team member who is experiencing loss or stress, the same holds true.  Creating a work environment where we truly care about each other makes a difference.

This week, I am asking each of you to find ways to demonstrate compassion and empathy for those we serve. 

Some suggestions include:

  1. Be present with patients and families.  Fully focus on their needs, concerns, and feelings.
  2. Help patients and families process what is happening by talking through treatment plans, what will happen next, and allow time to answer questions.
  3. Support patients and families with a touch when appropriate, a smile, expressing concern for patients or family members who need additional support or encouragement.
  4. Offer services from other departments such as Pastoral Care when appropriate.
  5. Support team members who are experiencing difficult situations outside of work.


I’m asking each department leader to identify ways you and your team can share how you’ve taken action to demonstrate concern for patients, families or other employees. Discuss it in your shift huddles and departmental meetings.  Encourage your team to write examples of how they have demonstrated this behavior on dry erase or poster boards in the staff lounge.  Share with each other and celebrate the success of your department’s demonstration of compassion and empathy.


Thank you for making a difference in our patients, families and each other’s lives and for living out our Mission:  Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.