Question: You walk into a patient’s room to find that the patient is nauseated and vomiting. What is compassionate action in this case? How might empathy get in the way of effective action on the patient’s behalf?


Compassionate action in this case would be to provide the patient with a basin or bucket to vomit in, and to offer them a cool cloth to put on their forehead. Empathy can get in the way of effective action if it causes the healthcare provider to become overwhelmed with the patient’s distress and unable to focus on providing the necessary care.

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