Compassionate Clinicians

Compassionate Clinicians: Exemplary Care in Hospital Settings


In the late 1800s, the notion of professional culture and compassionate care involved neutrality and professional distance. In this context, practitioners and clinicians exercised detached concern and did not get involved with the patient except on matters of ill health (Graber and Mitcham 347).

In the twentieth century, compassionate care and clinical cultures perceived the importance of advanced technology in medicine (348). Also, professionalism and respective successes in compassionate care were determined by scientific achievements and not the relationship between professionals and patients.

Since the 1980s and subsequent years, a paradigm shift in health education and care has seen professionals embracing a holistic approach to compassionate care (348). In recent years, clinicians are now training on social and behavioral aspects that are common in patients. The intention of such is to improve on communication skills, diagnostic methods and improved the professional and patient relationship.


The findings of the principal aims of the compassionate clinicians study are:

  1. a) Clinicians achieved compassion through expressions of love, apathy, and responding to needs and feelings.
  2. b) Compassionate care offers clinicians with excellent communication skills like attentiveness, friendships, and long-term relationships (353). Some clinicians are motivated to provide better care.
  3. c) Clinicians experience close and emotional relationships with patients (355).
  4. d) Clinicians express compassion through smiles, crying, love, personal recognition, and kind words (354).
  5. e) The organizational culture of caring, leaders, and good values are integral into providing compassionate care at the institutional level (363).


Level of clinician-patient interaction Primary forms of expression Primary motivational sources Foci of concern
Level I: Everyday/practical



Desire to fulfil duties and show of no concern to patients Additional wages Looking after self-interests.
Level II:


Emotional closeness to patient with genuine and friendly relationship with patient  

Social needs




Genuine concern for self and patient

Level III:



Emotional closeness to patient with genuine and friendly relationship with patient Personal needs, values, and religion beliefs Genuine concern for self and patient
Level IV:



Love, kindness, selflessness Genuine feelings Genuine concern for patient



Work Cited

Graber, R., David and Mitcham, D., Maralynne. “Compassionate clinicians: Exemplary care in hospital settings.” The science of compassionate love: Theory, research, and applications (2009): 345-372. Print.

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