Compassion: The Essence of Palliative and End-of-Life Care

Maria Leadbeater, clinical nurse specialist in palliative care, gives four stars to a book on compassionate practice

4 stars

The subject of compassion has become more topical than ever, given recent media stories about uncaring nurses. This book describes compassionate practice from the perspectives of individuals and organisations.

Each chapter is written by a palliative care specialist. While readers may identify with some authors more than others, the variety means there is a good range of insights and viewpoints.

A fascinating chapter on ‘sustainable compassion’, for example, explains how and why some people lack compassion and empathy when they are working with colleagues in palliative care.

Overall, the book does not offer a formula for compassionate practice, but it does give readers much to reflect on for their own practice.

It would be useful for nurses working in specialist or generalist palliative care, as well as being a valuable resource for any workplace library and anyone involved in supervision.

Philip J Larkin | Oxford University Press | 256pp £29.99 | ISBN: 9780198703310

Reviewed by Maria Leadbeater, clinical nurse specialist in palliative care, Ashgate Hospice, Chesterfield

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