At the core of health professional practice is the aim of acting for the good of others in situations where uncertainty is ever present and humanity is central. While health practice is based on scientific knowledge, it is primarily carried out with people within social contexts (Trede & Flowers, 2014). This inherent humanness of health practice highlights the importance of properly functioning relationships to achieve the desired health practice aims and positive outcomes for other people (Patton & Nicholls, 2014). Further, the contemporary focus in health settings on person-centred models of healthcare highlights the centrality of people and relationships to optimal health service delivery.
In this chapter we build on the contention that the establishment and maintenance of authentic health practice relationships and achievement of person-centred care are built upon the bedrock of solid health professional empathic capabilities. The concept of empathy is highlighted and the important distinction between affective and cognitive components of empathy is made. We propose that high-quality sustainable health practices are underpinned by the achievement of an appropriate balance between these two components of empathy, and strategies are offered for enhancing empathic capabilities of health professional students to achieve this standard of care.
|Title of host publication||Developing practice capability|
|Subtitle of host publication||Transforming workplace learning|
|Editors||Narelle Patton, Joy Higgs, Megan Smith|
|Place of Publication||Leiden, The Netherlands|
|Publisher||Brill | Sense|
|Number of pages||8|
|ISBN (Print)||9789004366916, 9789004366909|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Apr 2018|
|Name||Higher Education Horizons|