Compassion at Work

Subject Overview

Compassion has been identified as a priority area for improvement in health care. Explicit training in compassion is now necessary within health care settings, which are becoming increasingly complex and fast-paced.

This subject examines the implications of compassion in health care for individuals, organisations and society and draws from the growing field of Compassion Science, which suggests that compassion is central to positive outcomes in health care.  

This subject also examines physiological, psychological, philosophical and sociological evidence, which proposes a positive correlation between compassionate health care enhanced by contemplative practice and staff and clients’ quality of life. 

It is grounded in a strength-based, resilience-building approach while offering both applied and theoretical experience of compassion for personal and professional development in health care. This subject is also highly relevant to a range of business professionals.


Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion the links between them and the relevance of these skills in health care.

  • Critically synthesise experience of contemplative practice and theoretical engagement with compassion science to evaluate the use of contemplative practices in compassion development.

  • Critically analyse contemplative science findings related to physiological, psychological and sociological outcomes of compassion.

  • Critically evaluate the place of compassion in self- and community-development within health care, and potential impacts of compassionate individuals and institutions in society.

  • Ability to engage and critique benefits, ethical implications, challenges and practical applications of compassionate cultures in health care.


  • The individual: An introduction to compassion, contemplation, self-awareness and self-compassion.

  • The interpersonal: Compassion and the other, understanding compassion competence.

  • Society, applied compassion: Compassionate workplaces and their impacts on society.



Nan Tien Institute (NTI) is a private, not for profit, government accredited higher education provider offering studies in the areas of Buddhist studies, health and wellbeing, within an environment that incorporates contemplative education.

NTI offers postgraduate programs in Applied Buddhist Studies, Health and Social Wellbeing, Humanistic Buddhism, and Mental Health as well as customised Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs and special interest subjects across the areas of meditation, mindfulness and health.

In accordance with the current restrictions our campus facilities are closed. You can continue to study online and our virtual library services remain available. Our academic and student services staff are online and by phone to assist you. Please stay safe.