Written by Michelle Boorstein.
As the head of a big-city hospital’s emergency department, Susan O’Mara has always focused on providing quick answers to people in crisis: A relative desperate for information. An injured person facing a very long wait. A colleague exhausted from dealing with fed-up patients. But until a special training a few months ago, O’Mara didn’t consider whether there were ways to be more compassionate in her response.
The training taught the doctor to pause and listen, and not jump to fix or respond defensively if an angry patient is on the offense. She said it has helped her focus better and find a deeper well of sympathy, even as she deals with trying situations at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in the nation’s capital.
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