Our country and most of the world has felt an exceptional epidemic of despair- We all want to put this current crisis behind us quickly.
We are restless and want to restart our social and economic lives, but to do so, we must give a prime focus on health. And we see that comes with an enormous cost, but it is better than the alternative.
One cost that I have been watching for years, even before this current pandemic, is the cost of illness on the Nurse. The Nurse is provided with guidance and supplies for controlling and prevention of diseases and illness. But they need to be also be supplied with another tool— a tool to release their hyper-empathy. Like being a mirror and a sponge, not only do they reflect what the patient and other staff members feel, but they absorb it also. It can become a psycho-physiological pain that creates anxiety.
If Nurses end up losing themselves in other people’s needs and then poison themselves with too much compassion or feelings of guilt for another’s discomfort, it can become painful and exhausting.
When a patient is experiencing stress about their own illness, injury, procedure, surgery, or recovery, the Nurse ends up treating the patient’s physical ailments as well as their emotional needs.
When nurses show empathy, they foster a collaborative relationship with their patients, helping root out the cause, symptom, or explanations that result in proper diagnosis and appropriate treatments. The open communication and mutual respect between the Nurse and patient can result in beneficial patient outcomes, including a shortened hospital stay, decreased discomfort, less anxiety, and the belief of a positive outcome.
But what about when the Nurse exhibits too much empathy? Could empathy make a professional health care provider overly sensitive? If they embrace the emotions they pick up from someone else; the answer could be yes.
For now, if you are someone suffering from hyper-empathy, the answer could not be more straightforward: seek assistance.