Regina's Blog

The Gift of Empathy

by Regina Clark - on Wednesday, February 13, 2019
The Gift of Empathy

The first time I learned about empathy was when I was taking graduate classes in counseling. We practiced listening and responding with empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand where someone else is coming from. Empathy and sympathy are two different reactions. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone else's misfortune. Active listening and responding with empathy are skills which can be learned. When you listen and respond with empathy it communicates to the other person that you are really paying attention to what they are saying. You are also paying attention to their visual language and their tone of voice. During the past five months, I have been interacting with hospice professionals. Hospice professionals interact with dying people and their families every day. Their empathy is incredible, so much better than mine. It’s hard for me to understand what it must be like facing death. I imagine that a dying person has mixed emotions, scary on the one hand and peace on the other. I remember when my mother in law was dying of pancreatic cancer, she told me that she was ready to die but the dying process was really getting to her. Watching a loved one suffer and lose their ability to function is heart wrenching. It’s also physically and mentally exhausting for the caregiver(s). This morning I found my 90-year-old father, who is slowly dying of COPD, at my back door with the door wide open yelling for help. When I found him, my empathy did not kick in. I was more focused on his safety. I should try to be more empathetic, my excuse is that I’m tired and sick of being tired. The past few months have given me a brand new respect for anyone who has ever been a caregiver.  

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Managing Stress During the Holidays

by Regina Clark - on Thursday, December 07, 2017
Managing Stress During the Holidays

I just ran into a friend of mine at the supermarket. She seemed stressed. Her cart was overflowing with goodies and she started to tell me about her overbooked schedule and her list of holiday chores to accomplish which included holiday gifts for multiple teachers. My friend, who is one of the most gracious women I know, has four children and a lot going on. On the outside she looks as if she has everything under control; her home is lovely, her children are well mannered, her husband is a nice guy, and she is always willing to help others. On the inside she is really missing her mom who passed away a few years ago. 

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Improving the Patient Experience

by Regina Clark - on Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Improving the Patient Experience

Today’s healthcare environment is challenging. Physicians in private practice are being eaten up by larger medical groups and waiting over an hour to see a physician is becoming the norm instead of the exception.Many healthcare providers have become accountable care organizations (ACO). An ACO is a healthcare organization characterized by a payment and care delivery model that seeks to tie provider reimbursements to quality metrics and reductions in the total cost of care for an assigned population of patients. One quality metric that everyone is talking about is patient satisfaction. Patient satisfaction is a measure which is arrived at when data is collected. The patient experience is much more personal.  

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