Communicating with Compassion
How to Communicate in Ways that ease the Pain and lift the Spirit
In this 40-minute video Karen Fox explains a step-by-step method for communicating with people who are ill, injured, isolated, or in distress. Karen demonstrates, using real situations, four key communication skills that empower, encourage, bring hope, and lift the spirit.
“Teaching compassion is different than teaching how to change the oil in your car, or use a new computer. For this, and other reasons, it has often been discarded from medical training, and is today frequently thought of as a frill, a nice, but unessential element. Yet, thoughout history compassion has been the universal solvent, the key ingredient to true healing”.
Simon Fox, Executive Producer
The Medicine of Compassion
Excerpts from “Communicating with Compassion”
““Communicating with Compassion is a quality program. I find it valuable in refining the skills of supportive presence needed by lay volunteer and clergy alike. It is a complete package, educationally sound and stimulating to use. This one is a keeper!”
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Ventura
“Throughout history, compassion, caring, and love have been the foundation of healing. Without them, medical science and technology are inadequate. The Medicine of Compassion reminds us that these factors remain crucial in health care, as the greatest healers have always known”
Colin L. Powell, General, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Chairman, America’s Promise
“As I reflect on the widespread need in our frantic, fractured society for people with a healing touch, I cherish a fervent hope that this resource will become available to the countless people who could use it to learn how to enhance their caring attitudes and skills.”
Howard Clinebell, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, Pastoral Psychology & Counseling Claremont School of Theology
“The best educational resource I have ever seen for teaching compassion. It’s inspiring, and shows exactly how to give the psychosocial support that patients need. Everyone in the health professions should see this video.”
Paula Yurkanis Bruice, Ph.D., Senior Chemistry Professor
University of California, Santa Barbara
“An artistic and uplifting video that gives us the tools to enhance the lives of those who are suffering, from whatever cause.”
Robert A. Reid, M.D., President
California Medical Association
“Your video touches both the head and the heart. It flows and the teaching points are made so naturally. I cried at several places. Thank you for an effective and beautiful video.”
Elizabeth Wu, Management Development
“I was impressed by how the film spoke to such a wide variety of people. Students and nurses aids easily understand the material, yet medical doctors also find it valuable.”
Dr. Richard Brand, Assistant Dean
Washington University School of Medicine
“Anyone who wants to increase their ability to communicate with compassion, empathy and caring, will benefit from this video. Communicating with Compassion is a special blend of practical know-how and sensitivity to the unique needs of individuals who are ill. It is a “must see” for all health care providers.”
Judith G. Berg, R.N., Senior Vice President,
Cottage Health System
“Communicating with Compassion is by far the best teaching tool I could use in the area of listening and communication skills. Thank you for your great effort to teach us all that compassion is the key element to a healing encounter.”
Dana VanderMey, R.N., Supervisor of Parish Nurses
Saint Francis Medical Center
“A genuinely touching piece of work – it goes right to the heart. I have all staff view it on a regular basis and prn in times of stress or despair. This video is a powerful reminder of the human component in patient care.”
Liz Duffy, R.N., Nurse Manager, Medical Intensive Care Unit
The Reading Hospital and Medical Center
“When I saw Communicating with Compassion it was love at first sight. I use it with new trainees and at monthly in-service meetings. This video is an education for the heart as well as the head.”
Timothy Larson, former Coordinator of Volunteers
Hospice of Santa Barbara
“This video is one of the most outstanding training tools for staff and volunteers that I have ever seen. I know I’ll be using it often.”
Pat Wheatley, Director Senior Services, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital
“All of the volunteers, nurses, administrators, and chaplains I have shown your video to, found it very valuable. It is now a part of the annual orientation for all of my volunteers. And the Leader Guide is gold — it gave me everything I needed to lead a first-class learning session.”
Sandi Knowles, Director of Volunteers, Twin Cities Community Hospital
“I have been very touched by the compassion and humanity conveyed by your video. It is appropriate for anyone who works with schools, churches, health agencies, youth groups or families.”
Betty Krause, President, Ventura County Volunteer Coordinators Council
“Communicating with Compassion is a quality program. I find it valuable in refining the skills of supportive presence needed by lay volunteer and clergy alike. It is a complete package, educationally sound and stimulating to use. This one is a keeper!”
The Reverend Faye Hogan, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Ventura
How do we teach compassion?
According to Karen and Simon Fox, the best way to teach compassion is not to teach, but to inspire through real-life examples. Just as Adventures in Caring’s volunteers have learned their skills from personal experiences, the camera follows doctors, nurses and care-givers into the world of real situations, real challenges and real emotions.
The video shows how compassion forms a bridge between the two very different worlds: the world of the busy health care professional and the anxious, uncertain world of the patient. When compassion is present patients feel confident about the care they receive and health care staff experience greater satisfaction when working in a partnership with patients.
Good reasons to cultivate compassion in your staff
- Increase patient satisfaction scores
Patients who experience compassion give hospitals the highest ratings – and then go on to tell all of their friends about the wonderful staff who looked after them.
- Increase staff morale and retention
You will keep your best people longer, and they will hold standards of care higher, when they are invited to bring their hearts to work.
- Reduce risk of litigation
As a rule of thumb, people don’t sue people they like.
- Improve patient safety
Better communication with patients equals fewer mistakes.
- Conserve hospital resources
People who feel cared about under-use resources – they tend to use fewer pain medications and are usually discharged sooner – because their needs are met the first time.
- Save staff time
Spend less time doing damage control for the clumsy communicators who cause misunderstandings and hurt patients’ feelings.
- Better medical outcomes
Research shows that patients who experience empathy are far more likely to stick with their medical regimen, and therefore get better results.
Become a member (for free) then watch this and other videos from AiC.
This package includes:
- 45-minute DVD or VHS-tape.48-page Leader Guide with instructions on how to use the video as the basis for a 60-minute or 90-minute class, or for a 3-hour workshop.
- To custom-design your own class additional discussion questions, class exercises, and video index are included, plus resources for continued learning and suggestions for measuring progress.
- Handouts – formatted for easy copying. Three pages summarize the essential points of the video and expand upon them.
Beautiful production, original musical score and real-life scenes.
“I applaud your efforts to teach volunteers how to interact with people who are suffering… I did view the video and the program is obviously a labor of love on your part… I am sharing your work with my staff, especially those involved in finding ways for young people to serve their community and fellow citizens.”.
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Chairman, America’s Promise
Next video: Compassion in Action