Mindfulness for Stress Reduction in the Workplace
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Session presented on Saturday, March 18, 2017: Research has shown that patient outcomes and clinical judgment improve in caring-healing environments. Current trends are for healthcare facilities to provide education in wellness, which includesstress reduction activities for their employees as a way to improve self-care, the work environment, and ultimately patient care. Significance: Mindfulness is a method for paying attention in the present moment, without judgement, and has many applications for the use in clinical settings, providing leadership and management support for staff as well as tools that enhance the nurse-patient interactions and outcomes. Mindfulness is a well respected and evidence-based technique that supports the humanistic and holistic caring paradigm developed by dominant nursing theorists, Barbara Dossey and Jean Watson. Holistic theory invites nurses to develop a deep personal understanding and sensitivity to provide effective patient care and avoid burnout/compassion fatigue. Strategy and Implementation: Two programs were implemented that provided mindfulness training to health care personnel. Nurses were the predominant participants in each program. Both included both pre and post stress level assessments and evaluations. One program provided 60 hospital clinical staff a one hour CE presentation on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for the Workplace. The second program was a 20 hour Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program offered to the clinical staff of an onsite medical clinic that provides healthcare services to the underserved and homeless populations. Evaluation: The pre and post interventions were the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10)and the Mindfulness Survey. Evaluation of programs pre and post results demonstrated participants improved their ability to manage stress, pay attention to the present moment and had a greater sense of inner peace. Implications for Practice: The use of mindfulness training, even in small amounts (1 hour presentation) can decrease stress and improve the wellbeing of clinical staff. This directly improves patient care, decreases clinical errors, and reduces symptions of burnout and compassion fatigue. Learning Objective: Define and understand methods to develop mindfulness. Describe how mindfulness reduces stress in the workplace.