All patients and families deserve to be treated with compassion by their healthcare providers. Compassionate care is essential to good medical care and results in improved quality of care, better health outcomes, and lower costs. A compassionate caregiver should:

  • Treat you, your family, and those important to you with respect
  • Convey information in a way that is understandable
  • Treat you like a person, not just an illness
  • Listen attentively to you
  • Strive to gain your trust
  • Involve you in treatment decisions if you want to be involved
  • Apologize if he or she makes a mistake
  • Communicate test results in a timely and sensitive manner
  • Feel comfortable in discussing sensitive, emotional, or psychological issues with you
  • Consider the effect of an illness on you, your family, and those important to you
  • Express sensitivity, caring, and compassion for your situation
  • Spend enough time with you
  • Strive to understand your emotional needs
  • Give you hope, even when the news is bad
  • Strive to understand your cultural and religious beliefs

If you feel you are not getting the compassionate care you deserve, consider talking to your caregiver about what you feel is missing. If the situation does not improve, you may want to consider choosing another caregiver.


Our Materials

“You Have the Right to Compassionate Healthcare” by The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. Click here to read our flyer.
“What Makes for a Compassionate Patient-Caregiver Relationship?” by Darshak Sanghavi, MD, for The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare; published by the Joint Commission, an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies more than 19,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the U.S. Click here to read our article.