When clinicians don't understand and relate to patients' emotional states, they can contribute to a yawning comprehension gap that makes it harder for patients to understand information about their conditions, oncology nurse Theresa Brown writes. Bedside manner may not boost efficiency, but research suggests that empathy is vital and that the success of provider-patient interactions has a real impact on a patient's health, she writes. "Our high-tech scans and fast-paced care save lives, but we need to make time for the human issues that pull at every patient's heart," Brown writes.

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