Monday, July 30, 2012

Compassionate Direct Care Workers with Patients: Healthcare Photos, Stories (Long-Term Care Research, Video 3:55)

Photography is such a fascinating process. Capturing that special something which means more than words can ever say by themselves connects people at a guttural level of humanity. What if you are a healthcare worker giving ongoing caregiving support to patients as part of your job? What would you want to capture in photos to show the world what you really want to convey about your relationships with patients? How would you envision a photograph of compassionate caregiving and an accompanying story about your interactions with patients?

Research on compassionate caregiving was done by the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. The study was designed to understand the views of direct care workers and included 15 nurse aides and medical technicians working in an assisted living and special care assisted living community for people with dementia. Participants were given digital cameras to create photographs showing what caregiving meant to them. Discussions, photographs, and written and oral stories revealed participants’ perceptions about their essential relationships with patients, not their required care relationships.

Like all direct care workers, doctors are also expected to demonstrate compassion in their care of patients. University of California San Diego Medical School is preparing aspiring doctors for practicing caring skills. In this video titled Putting The Care Back Into Health Care, KPBS Health Reporter Kenny Goldberg shares a compassionate care story of medical student Pritha Workman.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.

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