When patients and their families experience the crisis of sudden hospitalization, much energy is spent providing curative interventions and physical care, often with little time available to help the family deal with the crisis. Incorporating caring behaviors into the cadre of critical care interventions must be used to help patients and families deal with the crisis. Caring is a basic value of health care delivery and embodies a spiritual and metaphysical dimension concerned with preserving, protecting, and enhancing human dignity. Caring becomes even more important when one realizes that cure may not always be possible. Four basic behaviors form a foundation for the Humanistic CARE Model and include the interconnection and interrelation of communication, advocacy, reciprocity, and empathy. Finally, our caring actions affect each of the lives we touch. The knowledge that those actions make a difference in the lives of critically ill patients and their families provides us with the insight that we have succeeded in incorporating CARE into caring for families in crisis

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