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Developing Clinical Empathy: Making a Difference in Patient Care

Discover the difference empathy can make to patient care, and improve your own clinical empathy.

15,455 enrolled on this course

Developing Clinical Empathy: Making a Difference in Patient Care
The CPD Certification Service

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. Find out more.

Understand empathy, and improve your own empathic ability

Showing an understanding of a patient’s situation is one of the most important relationship-building skills that a healthcare provider can have. This is widely recognised in healthcare: the NHS in the UK recruits for compassion as one of its core values, and medical schools look for this in applicants at admissions interviews.

This course will help you develop an empathic practice that is individualised and attuned to the needs of all patients. You will learn about different types of empathy, explore non-verbal cues, and understand key opportunities for showing empathy in clinical care.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is empathy?
  • The importance of empathy in healthcare
  • Empathetic opportunities and responses
  • The challenges of showing empathy
  • Building resilience

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the difference between empathy and sympathy
  • Explore the use of emotional and cognitive empathy
  • Explore the importance of empathy in healthcare
  • Identify empathic opportunities
  • Reflect on verbal and non-verbal empathic responses
  • Discuss the challenges of being empathic as a healthcare professional
  • Identify the importance of self-awareness and building resilience for empathic practice

Who is the course for?

The course is suitable for anybody engaged in healthcare who interacts with patients and would like to develop their empathic practice. This may include undergraduate students undertaking medical or healthcare-focused degrees, or even those looking to work in healthcare or applying to study healthcare qualifications. The learning outcomes for this course are transferable across all healthcare specialities and can be applied worldwide regardless of the type of the health care system.

If you’re a healthcare professional, you may find it useful to upgrade this course to support your continuing professional development (CPD). By upgrading, you’ll be able to take this course at your own pace and revisit the material at any time in future. Once you complete the course, you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement as evidence of your CPD. This includes details of what you learnt and the number of learning hours required.

Who will you learn with?

I am a Health Psychologist and a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Communication. I wake up each morning ready to make a difference to the lives of patients and health care professionals.

Amy Spatz is a lecturer in Clinical Communication. She has a PgCert in Medical Education; an MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology and is currently working on a Phd on mindfulness and empathy.

Karen is a Lecturer in Clinical Communication at St.Georges Medical School & UCL. She has a MSc in Human Sexuality and specialises in sexual dysfunction. Karen also has a background in child health.

I am a lecturer in Clinical Communication skills at St George's University, London, as well as a Consultant in Palliative Medicine.

Who developed the course?

St George's, University of London

St George’s is the UK’s only university dedicated to medical and health sciences education, training and research.

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Buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year or Upgrade just this course for extra benefits. Or, join with basic access.

Unlimited

$23.33/month

Billed at $279.99 for a year

Endless possibilities!

  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses with additional benefits, for a year
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Upgrade this course

$74

Unlock your expertise

  • All of the above* for this course only, plus a printed certificate when you’re eligible

*Excludes access to all eligible short courses with additional benefits for a year

Basic access

Free

Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 4 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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