“Empathy is a requirement, sympathy is the price we pay.”
Let’s dissect that statement here. Empathy, specifically affective empathy, is what we need to possess in order to properly and completely care for out patients. “’Affective empathy’ refers to the sensations and feelings we get in response to others’ emotions; this can include mirroring what that person is feeling, or just feeling stressed when we detect another’s fear or anxiety.” In order to treat the whole patient, and not just the monitor, we need to be able to sense their pain, fears, and anxiety. They teach this in nursing school, often called a holistic approach, and it’s something we do not do a good job teaching pre-hospital providers.