Chronic excessive stress. Detached, cynical attitude. Emotional exhaustion.
These characteristics describe a certain percentage of doctors and nurses. But I’ve seen and experienced my own share of these traits as an educator.
Dr. Melissa Ring writes in this article that the same number of people die each year from infections caused by human errors in hospitals than from HIV, breast cancer and car accidents combined.
Her solution? Doctors and nurses need to meditate.
Physicians participating in mindfulness training report enhanced personal well-being, decreased burn-out, and improved attitude toward patient-centered care. This is important, because health-care provider burnout has been significantly associated with an increase in medical errors. In particular, errors spike when doctors and nurses respond to chronic excessive stress with depersonalization of their patients—a detached, cynical attitude—and emotional exhaustion.
Many studies show that mindfulness improves mood and reduces stress. So it stands to reason that educators could benefit from it, too, right?
How do you do it? Mindful.org says:
Mindfulness meditation practice couldn’t be simpler: take a good seat, pay attention to the breath, and when your attention wanders, return. By following these simple steps, you can get to know yourself up close and personal.
Check out their amazing info-graphic!
This is wonderful… We agree this is great for therapists and other helping professions.
Thanks for the comment! Trying to practice more myself. 🙂