The Art of Caring Is Essential
Caring is an important aspect of life and it is essential to health care. Some feel it is a lost art, and some will tell you that nurses are the only health care professionals who understand the art of caring. Nurses do the caring, doctors do the curing, and the rest just participate along the way: that may have been the way in the past, but it certainly isn't true today. As members of each health care profession have come to learn that caring, compassion, and empathy have made them better professionals, and helped to improve patient outcomes as a result, this perhaps lost art is returning to the health care profession as a whole. Learning the art of caring is essential to success in the field today and for the future.
The stigma that caring shows weakness, and that needing to be cared for means dependence and demonstrates an even greater weakness, is losing in the battle to create a dignified means of promoting wellness and an emphasis on improving one's health status.
Events such as September 11, the tsunami in Asia, and the devastating hurricanes of 2005 have been vivid reminders that life is short and not always fair. Many people have turned to health care to find careers, even second or third careers, which bring meaning and substance to their own lives as they search for a way to help others.
As these positive moves intensify, health care professionals become more integrated and have improved teamwork. This has been especially evident in the improved relationships between doctors and nurses over the last few years. As roles and responsibilities shift in this new paradigm, respect for each other as professionals as well as team members grows, as does the understanding that each member has a different but essential role in the care of and outcome for the patient. Doctors and nurses have come to form true partnerships in their quest to provide the very best of care to their patients.