Lege Artis Medicinae

[Committed physicians, emotional resonance for a better physician-patient relationship]

LAZÁNYI Kornélia, SZLUHA Kornélia

JUNE 20, 2011

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2011;21(06-07)

[With the advent of holistic medicine in the second half of the 20th century, the range of behavioural patterns that are expected from healthcare workers has also changed. Nowadays, numerous references in literature put emphasis on the potential positive impact of personal interactions between physician and patient on the healing process and overall well-being of patients. However, it does not come naturally to all workers with caring professions to seek personal interactions with their patients or display appropriate emotions. Some will have to make deliberate efforts, perform emotional labour, to achieve that goal. A healthcare worker’s commitment to healing and caring may make it easier for him/her to perform emotional labour. Emotional labour and commitment of 84 healthcare workers involved in oncology, and organizational factors with impact thereupon, were studied to explore the potential relationship between commitment and emotional labour. PANAS-X questionnaires were used to quantify emotional labour, while commitment and influencing factors were surveyed by means of explicative questions. Our findings confirmed a correlation between commitment and genuine acting as corroborated by literaure data. It was demonstrated that committed healthcare workers’ spontaneous emotions were more in compliance with what their patients expected them to display, and even their behavioural patterns were more in tune with the patients’ expectations. Confirmation as an organizational factor and colleague/ patient attitudes were found to have the strongest impact on commitment. It is essential that selection criteria for healthcare workers include examination for an altruistic caring attitude. Even more importantly, operators and managers of healthcare institutes should make efforts to create a good working environment and offer regular confirmative feedbacks for improved commitment by their employees.]

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