There are millions of things healthcare providers can learn from lab values and imaging results. But it’s important to remember that those are indicators of the physical condition and not a whole person’s condition. A blood panel won’t confirm that a patient is grieving the loss of a loved one, or that they are terrified of losing their home to foreclosure. A CT scan cannot diagnose loneliness or hopelessness. An MRI doesn’t show that a patient is confused about their diagnosis and scared to death. That is why compassion is so important.
Seeing the Whole Picture
What we can see with data doesn’t always give us the whole picture of a patient’s true condition. That is why it’s so important to show compassion in every situation. Real empathy starts by recognizing that we don’t know the patient’s whole story, and perhaps we never will.
Compassion and acceptance then, are essential elements of any and all treatment plans.