The concept of focus is altruism. Altruism is the “belief of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.” This concept illuminates the fact that the helper is helping without any good coming out of the situation for them. There is a belief that altruism comes from Darwin’s theory of evolution. Selfish behavior may be a form of evolution, but so is altruism. This is a moral concept that was developed years ago. This concept may have evolved from one person seeing another person suffer, and the observer wanting to help them.
Auguste Comte coined the term, and it has been used ever since. There are different forms of altruism. There is psychological, behavioral, and ethical altruism. Psychological altruism consists of intentional motivation to help others for their own sakes. Behavioral altruism is defined in terms of consequences rather than intentions: it refers to any action that benefits others. It is assumed that there will be a cost to the agent providing the care. Biological altruism is a form of behavioral altruism, which relates back to Darwinism. This form of altruism references to the decrease of energy of the organism performing it and increases the fitness of another organism. This is similar to patients receiving care from providers, while providers end up having a bad knee or bad back. There is also a fourth form of altruism that states that the happiness of others should be the principal goal of one’s actions. This belief coincides with religious and cultural ethics. Since Comte believed that humans are naturally evil presented by the Christian view, he strived to create a religion based on human understanding. He wanted to create a religion based on helping people rather than an egotistic overtake of society. He also noted a key discovery in this time that stated women are more inclined to be altruistic instead of men because of their maternal instincts. By providing this statement, he believes that women should have supreme moral and religious authority. Altruism harbored women as the center of the religion, due to their morals. There was an emphasis on feminine moral virtues and the sanctity of motherhood.
Altruism is important whether it is in healthcare or in any other sector besides healthcare. If humans live in a society where nobody is inclined to be nice to each other or help each other out, then the world can become a hard place to live in. If altruism exists, then the community can succeed and thrive as a whole. Altruism is important to give as much as it is good to receive. In terms of the importance of being the provider of altruism, it can provide a sense of self-esteem. Teaching children at a young age to have altruistic qualities can help them in their future careers. It will motivate the children to have careers that are satisfying in terms of helping others. These children can become better parents and significant others by the solid teachings of altruism. Sensitivity and awareness coincide with altruism itself. Altruism is important not only in social context, but religious context as well. In religions such as Islam and Hinduism, almsgiving is important. Altruism is similar to almsgiving, as it contributes to almsgiving. There is a belief that if we do well for others, well will happen to us. This is a karmic belief in Hinduism. Often times, altruism can be a motivating factor to become someone that helps others in need.
Altruism is important in healthcare. If nurses or doctors are not altruistic in manner, then it would be impossible for patients to receive healthcare that would help them prosper in terms of health. If a provider is caring during the patient’s stay, then it is less likely for the patient to return back to the hospital for readmission. The more attention and care provided to the patient, is beneficial for the patient and provider. Readmission rates are increasing due to less attentive behaviors from providers, but altruism can change that. If a provider is not proving utmost care for the patient, then it is questionable on the stance of the provider and why they wanted to embark their careers in healthcare. It is important to foster altruism in healthcare and in other aspects of life.
The meaning of this concept in healthcare delivery is important. In fact, altruism can be traced back to the Hippocratic Oath. As mentioned before, altruism is included in religious traditions. Some people would say that altruism is connected to pleasurable activities in the brain. In healthcare, altruism denotes self-less care for patients. This means that the provider will go above the minimum expectations to provide care for his patient. Altruism in healthcare can be exemplified by physicians providing care to patients beyond their contracted hours, or even reducing the fee for patients who cannot afford healthcare. If a physician goes the extra mile to seek out alternative treatments for their patients that is not burdensome on their wallets, that is altruism. If patients are treated as nothing but numbers and paychecks, then patients will not receive the care they need. Patients must be treated with respect, and should be given support throughout their healing. If providers no display altruistic behavior, then it is possible that the patients are not going to be satisfied with the provider. If a provider does not examine and understand the patient carefully, there is a chance that malpractice is possible. Malpractice is when a doctor misdiagnoses a patient. This can be dangerous for both the patient and provider. Altruism is important in healthcare because it may even reduce patient’s needs for medical services. Often times if patients feel they are not getting enough medical attention, they will ask for medical services that are overused. Overuse of medication by patients will make the patient resistant to services they need to improve their quality of life. The meaning of this concept in healthcare ties together with the fact that it is a provider’s responsibility to care for their patient because if they do not provide ample care, it can become a domino effect and impact people negatively. Families, along with the patients themselves, would be impacted in a negative manner if altruism is not part of their care.
The meaning of altruism to my area of practice in healthcare management is important. In my area of practice, the employees are not in direct contact with altruism itself, but there is facilitation in progress. Healthcare managers are facilitating whether or not the patients are receiving ample care through patient satisfaction surveys’, readmission rates, and other data presented by the team. To my current and future area of practice, employees need to foster altruism to ensure that patients trust with their healthcare. Quality assurance is important in my field of work because satisfaction levels rely on data nowadays. Data provided to employees of a company helps employees see whether or not the providers are providing enough effort for their patients. Altruism can be noted in surveys, and it helps quality assurance agents to evaluate the care received by patients. Me and my organization interact with the concept in a meticulous way. In quality assurance, it is important for us to maintain patient satisfaction logs and scales of how satisfied the patients are with the care being provided to them. It is important to administer necessary feedback from patients, so the management section can see how the providers are treating the patients. This would not allow for HIPAA violation either, as we would not be present in the room where the examinations are taking place.
Altruism is an important aspect on healthcare in many ways. It is vital for the patient, as much as it is vital for the providers.