Home Career Tips The 6 C’s of compassionate care (and why they’re important)

The 6 C’s of compassionate care (and why they’re important)

by Lisa A. Yeager

The “6 C’s of compassionate care” constitute a set of values designed to underpin the quality of healthcare that all health service professionals should provide to their patients.

In what follows, we’ll explore the “C’s” in the framework and show why they’re so important.

The 6C’s of compassionate care explained.

The 6Cs refer to Care, Compassion, Courage, Communication, Commitment, and Competence. Let’s elaborate on each to discern what they mean in practice.


Care in healthcare services means placing high standards of patient care at the center of all practices conducted by healthcare professionals, especially nurses, in the day-to-day frontline of this endeavor. It entails listening respectfully to patients’ wishes, respecting their beliefs, treating them with dignity, and working in their best interests. Patients are more likely to trust their healthcare professionals and adhere to treatment regimens when treated in this way.

Compassion refers to delivering patient care with kindness and empathy, the ability to understand and vicariously experience another person’s emotions. Unlike sympathy, which entails recognizing another’s feelings while maintaining one’s perspective, the heart involves imaginatively entering the other person’s experience and temporarily merging with it.


Nurses were at the forefront of patient care during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, treating afflicted patients even though they were at risk of infection. This phenomenon led Forbes to acknowledge the remarkable courage of nursing professionals. Courage means having the resolve to do the right thing by placing patient care first, such as speaking out when something goes wrong to remedy it or when a bold new idea may improve patient outcomes.


This refers to the professional dedication to each patient’s care. A shared commitment of this nature improves the quality of care for every patient. It also entails a commitment to continued learning and professional development.


Communication is vital between patient and professional, requiring sensitive listening and speaking. It entails keeping patients always informed about their care, listening to their wishes, and, wherever possible, acting on them.

Competence means proficiencies in the above five ethical values and up-to-date clinical and technical knowledge based on research and evidence.

Concluding comment

For anyone considering putting these values into practice, like junior nurses wishing to advance their careers, earning a qualification to become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) would be wise. A senior role with advanced Master’s degree entry requirements, FNPs exemplify each of the 6Cs with alacrity.

Established centers of higher educational excellence like Texas Woman’s University (TWU) now offer online degrees aimed at people with work and family obligations who wish to broaden their knowledge and career options. For example, the TWU online nurse practitioner degree allows busy nurses with entry-level credentials to earn the Master’ level qualification required for the sought-after FNP role without sacrificing employment or family commitments.

Of course, the intensive study requires much self-discipline and self-organization to fit the learning around a busy schedule. But few valuable achievements in life are gained without the requisite effort – and the reward is a satisfyingly ethical, well-remunerated, and profoundly fulfilling career.

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