Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care

empathy, n. “the power of projecting one’s personality into (and so fully comprehending) the object of contemplation” (OED).

It’s the parenthetical part of this definition that makes me pause. Is full comprehension achieved through empathy?

This video has been circulating the globe, resonating with a variety of different audiences. I struggle to write about how powerful it has been for me. It’s  fascinating to me how the meaning behind words escapes definition. And perhaps that is mirrored in how videography can bring to life the comparative flatness of literature.

This clip compels viewers to rethink how we share environments with other people, particularly in the unique and vulnerable hospital sphere. Here, illness is the invisible string that brings everyone together in time and space. Medicine, at its core, revolves around the narratives of the ill.

The study of these narratives has been closely intertwined with building a sense of empathy. Today, I am excited and nervous to embark on my own research journey towards achieving the unachievable.

3 Comments

Filed under Film, Theatre

3 responses to “Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care

  1. Amy Allara

    Very well-written—and beginning with the definition of empathy very much gets your attention. I think and write a bit about empathy (or lack thereof), and I didn’t even know that was the exact definition. Especially the (and so fully comprehending) piece.

    • Thanks, Amy! I was also really surprised by this particular definition. It really got me thinking, and I hope to think and write more about it in the future.

  2. I’m grateful to see such a thing in such a large industry. Healthcare can be daunting to look at for an outsider and I think this video can clear up some of the woes associated with it.

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