Chapter 3: Effective Professional Caregivers: Seven Sensitivities
Sensitivity is a crucial aspect in effective functioning of caregivers. The seven sensitivity that caregivers should demonstrate include: sensitivity to treatment goals, sensitivity to the whole person, sensitivity to cultural differences, sensitivity to the problem of discomfort and pain, sensitivity to individual’s needs, sensitivity to mutual, open, and honest communication, and sensitivity to individual’s autonomy. These sensitivities have been put at the center of any caregiving role including the social worker, the chaplain, the counselor, the health aide, and the physician. The combination of skill and sensitivity helps a caretaker to contribute positively towards patients struggling with life threatening illness.
A holistic approach has proved effective in hospice care, which supports the reality that life threatening illness occurs in the life context. Managing pain is another crucial aspect in hospice. Caregivers have an important task of assisting patients experiencing pain to feel some degree of physical comfort. Strategies that caregivers can use to manage pain include offering a more effective pain treatment, they have intervene directly, or serve as advocates reminding healthcare providers about the pain concerns of a patient. Therefore, sensitivity plays a great role in helping individuals experiencing life threatening illness manage their pain, tend to their treatment needs, and achieve the desired goals.