Journal of Advanced Nursing

Cover image for Vol. 73 Issue 12

Edited By: Editor-in-Chief: Roger Watson; Editors: Robyn Gallagher, Mark Hayter, Jane Noyes, Rita Pickler & Brenda Roe

Impact Factor: 1.998

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 13/116 (Nursing)

Online ISSN: 1365-2648

VI: Compassionate Care


Compassionate Care
Lin Perry
September 2013


Compassionate care is expected of nurses. Florence Nightingale updated a much older tradition with her view of nurses as providers of comfort and care, and this continues in policy initiatives such as NHS England’s Compassion in Practice vision and strategy.

However, every so often, in countries across the world, circumstances arise and responses are triggered that serve as a warning. From Tenet Healthcare in the US to Campbelltown in Australia and Mid Staffordshire in the UK, reports and enquiries remind us that, while healthcare may be run as a business, the ‘profit’ we pursue cannot be measured solely in financial terms.

The purposes and privileges of healthcare mean we encounter people in time of trouble, enduring difficult experiences. Read the Compassionate Care Virtual Issue to see how patients’ testimonies can inform compassionate care (Bradshaw 2013); how nurses characterise therapeutic relationships, the relationship-building strategies they use, including empathy, use of their personal self as well as professional role and barriers such as the influence of the local setting on capacity for caring (Bridges et al 2013; Richardson et al 2013; Udo et al 2013); how nurses provide, and may be challenged and struggle to provide, care in situations at odds with their own values or those of colleagues and society (Monks et al 2013; Spidsberg and Sørlie 2013). The stresses on nurses themselves are highlighted. Nurses are witnesses to suffering, enter their patients’ experience (van der Wath et al 2013); engage with the threat of patients’ mortality, and cope with caring for patients who face this (Leung et al 2012). Not all can engage in this way, and explanations and future direction are suggested (Leung et al 2012; Udo et al 2013).

Read these articles free until 31 Jan 2014:

Clarifying misconceptions about compassionate care
Belinda Dewar, Elizabeth Adamson, Stephen Smith, Joyce Surfleet, Linda King

Emergency nurses' experiences of caring for survivors of intimate partner violence
Annatjie van der Wath, Neltjie van Wyk and Elsie Janse van Rensburg

Listening to the patient's self-reported testimony: the authentic hermeneutical witness to the compassionate nurse?
Ann Bradshaw

Capacity for care: meta-ethnography of acute care nurses' experiences of the nurse-patient relationship
Jackie Bridges, Caroline Nicholson, Jill Maben et al.

How haematological cancer nurses experience the threat of patients’ mortality
Doris Leung, Mary Jane Esplen, Elizabeth Peter et al.

Existential issues among nurses in surgical care – a hermeneutical study of critical incidents

Camilla Udo, Ella Danielson and Christina Melin-Johansson

The dissonant care management of illicit drug users in medical wards, the views of nurses and patients: a grounded theory study

Rob Monks, Annie Topping and Rob Newell

A Steinian approach to an empathic understanding of hope among patients and clinicians in the culture of palliative care
Kate Richardson, Rod MacLeod and Bridie Kent

An expression of love – midwives’ experiences in the encounter with lesbian women and their partners
Bente Dahl Spidsberg and Venke Sørlie

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