I like compassion

This may not be radical or revolutionary and in fact given recent conversations both on and offline it feels almost confession like, however here I am throwing caution to the wind and admitting that I like Compassion in Practice, I like the word compassion and I like the 6cs !!

Now I have to be careful here as I don’t really want to turn this into a rant but I am fed up of listening to people and reading blogs and tweets that give compassion in practice a hard time.  Being the positive soul that I am I would rather not dwell on the negative but instead write about why I like this initiative.

I like compassion in practice because of its simplicity – there is no doubt at all that nursing is complex and I feel that to be able to hang the complexity and diversity off the simplistic model that is compassion in practice gives nursing a focal point, a ground zero, a place that’s home. Words like care, compassion, courage, competence, communication and commitment may be the latest buzz words or “en vogue” however I feel it is more “en vogue” to slate and criticise rather than praise and be constructive.  I understand that these words do not describe all that we do in nursing and yes we had these words in nursing long before CNO Jane Cummings put them together, but what they do is give us a common and caring language.  I like this language, I feel proud to be associated with these words and I hope I do them justice every time I nurse.

I am a nurse, I am a practising nurse, I love nursing but I see that we need to move forward, to improve – we need to be better.  I don’t consider myself to be “political” and to be honest with you I don’t care if Compassion in Practice is or was politically motivated I just know that I like it.  I am sensible enough to realise that Compassion in Practice is not a magic wand but it has given me a language that I am confident with, it gives me a model to which to hang ideas and it gives me a framework that has been sadly lacking in nursing in recent years.  For this nurse who really just wants to nurse and to be the very best nurse I can be I feel it’s a breath of fresh air.

I know, as I am sure that every nurse does, that nursing isn’t perfect and we don’t get it right every time and I know that Compassion in Practice alone won’t resolve this.  It will take hard work from each and every nurse and for that hard work to be cohesive and effective we need to reset, to start again, compassion in practice gives us that …. I don’t care about being radical, but I know and care about what I like and I am standing up and saying I like care, compassion, courage, competence, communication and commitment long may they be “en vogue”!

2 thoughts on “I like compassion

  1. Hello Teresa,
    If I weren’t so unimportant and insignificant, I might have thought you were talking about me here. I was really surprised to read that your experience is that people are lining up to slate and criticise Compassion in Practice; I have found that the opposite is true. The Caremakers Initiative, for example, has enthusiastic support all over Twitter and on the occasions when I have tried to question the thinking behind it, I have not garnered very much support.
    I agree that Compassion in Practice provides a framework or point of reference, and if people find that helpful in everyday situations – great. However, I also think that it is important for nurses to look behind government policy and ask themselves ‘Why this? Why now? What is it telling us about official attitudes to nursing?’ In the arena of practice, we rightly encourage nurses to question, but so often we seem to stop short of extending that to the arena of policy. Why? Do we think an interest in politics isn’t appropriate for nurses?
    I’m not going to use your blog to publicise my issues with Compassion in Practice – anyone who wants to know my views can look at my own blog – but I would like to make it clear that believing that ‘compassion’ is just a buzzword certainly doesn’t mean that one does not attempt to incorporate it into practice. But I wouldn’t worry. Honestly, no one is listening to me.

  2. Hi Stella,

    Thank you for your comment and apologies for my tardy reply !

    I agree whatever our views and however they may differ this does not mean that one does not attempt to bring compassion into practice. I understand that others do feel very passionately that political motivators should be understood and of interest to nurses – however my point here is that despite the politics I feel that compassion in practice is a good thing.

    I haven’t read your blog post about compassion in practice but will certainly take a look as its always interesting to see others perspectives.

    Best Wishes


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