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Irene Renzenbrink—Compassionate organizations 

Irene Renzenbrink—Compassionate organizations
Chapter:
Irene Renzenbrink—Compassionate organizations
Author(s):

Philip J Larkin

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198703310.003.0019
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date: 22 September 2020

What is important about this chapter by social worker Irene Renzenbrink is its reference to the impact that organization and team can have on the delivery of compassionate care. For the practitioner, the experience can either be nurturing or disabling. Either way, it leads to the many consequences that Irene has addressed in her own research and publications. This chapter offers a perspective on the contribution of social workers to the care of the patient with palliative and end-of-life care needs. Through the expertise and resilience shown here, the chapter demonstrates that although the psychosocial needs of patients and families may be everybody’s business, for some, it is the essence of their practice and should be respected as such. Compassion is a good selling point for health care agencies, but when that is a veneer rather than the base from which care is delivered, the survival of the team and the individuals within that team is compromised. Irene Renzenbrink offers a message of hope, pointing to how both individuals and systems are seeking creative ways to embed compassion at the core of caring. This is about bringing the soul to life and enabling it to reach its potential as the catalyst of compassionate care.

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