The Caring Professionals Program: educational approaches that integrate caring attitudes and empathic behaviors into health professions education

J Allied Health. 2012 Summer;41(2):90-6.

Abstract

Caring attitudes and empathic behaviors are considered by most Americans to be an essential and intrinsic element of appropriate health care, yet little attention is given to this in the curricula of most healthcare professional training programs. This paper describes an ongoing educational intervention to develop healthcare professionals with caring attitudes and empathic behaviors that will be sustained in their professional practice environments. The Caring Professionals Program was designed to enhance and redesign existing learning experiences in four academic programs: physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner. Students entering in the summer of 2009 were engaged in the initial program and study. Six educational elements were employed in the Caring Professionals Program: experience, reflection, problem-solving, didactic, active participation, and role modeling. Educational interventions were designed to be appropriate to the students' temporal progress through their programs, specifically the early, middle or late stages. The Caring Professionals Program may serve as a model for other allied health schools and also contribute to a college culture that supports caring and humanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allied Health Personnel / education*
  • Altruism*
  • Curriculum*
  • Empathy*
  • Humans
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • United States