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What is the difference between empathy and sympathy?

As a midwife or nurse it is important to understand the feelings and situations of others but not necessarily to share them; this is empathy.

Equally as important in nursing is to express authentic feelings of sorrow for patients without letting it overwhelm you or confuse with your own situation or position; this is sympathy.

Professional empathy is vital for connection to our patients and to our colleagues. This is part of a wholistic approach for nurses and midwives to find positive outcomes for patients.

One key component of professional empathy is developing emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence can be a difficult concept to understand. If we don’t understand it then we may not know if we have it or not.¬† Emotional intelligence includes factors like social skills, motivation, self awareness, self regulation and our ability to be empathetic.

At a Resilience in Health workshop we explore the psychology of busyness and strategies to see things differently.

We want you to be able to bounce back each and every day.

At our workshop on 11 November 2022 in Brisbane we will have a focus on empathy and developing techniques to strengthen our ability to be empathic.

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