The Cleveland Clinic has rendered a significant public service by producing a series of short videos on empathy. The first installment of the series, Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care, which runs about 5 minutes, presents shots of a dozen or so patients, family members, and hospital staff going about their business in the hospital. In each shot, a phrase appears describing the person’s situation, for example, “Seeing Dad for the last time,” “Waiting for heart transplant,” “First vacation in years, starting tomorrow,” “Too shocked to comprehend the news,” etc. The video ends with a question, flashed on the screen, “If you could stand in someone else’s shoes – hear what they hear – see what they see – feel what they feel – would you treat them differently?”
Empathy – the ability to see the world through another person’s point of view, is among the most fundamental skills pastoral caregivers, whether volunteers or professionals, bring to their encounters with patients, their loved ones, and the hospital staff members who care for them. The Cleveland Clinic video illustrates empathy with power, and challenges all of us to see things as others see them, and in so doing, practice the love of Christ. To see the video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDDWvj_q-o8.
By Paul Riddle