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Restoring the joy

Head-multitasking-full-thoughts-Sm.pngLife has become progressively sensory rich, fast-paced, and complex—especially for healthcare workers. Amidst these pressures, how do we hold onto the joy that comes from caring for patients and their families? How do we remind ourselves, after a long day, why we chose to work in healthcare in the first place? Mindfulness could be a first step. Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally paying attention to the present moment with a nonjudgmental attitude of acceptance and awareness, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future. In other words, be fully present in the moments that make up our busy days, staying focused on one thing at a time.
 
The recent written series, coauthored by Amy Cotton, MSN, RN, FAAN, chief experience officer and vice president of Patient Engagement for EMHS, explores how mindfulness can improve processes and outcomes for nurses and nurse leaders. This three-part series titled, “The Mindful Nurse” in Wolters Kluwer’s journal, Nursing Management, was designed to increase understanding about the power of mindfulness in nursing practice and can be applied to other healthcare team members. It was developed as part of Amy’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellowship—a three-year, world-class leadership development program.
 
In the first article, the co-authors highlight how being mindful effects patient care, “A resilient, compassionate, and present nursing workforce is critical to delivering healthcare value … Nurses with a deeper awareness and focus are more likely to be stronger advocates for patients and colleagues.” Amy points out that connecting with a patient in a mindful way doesn’t necessarily require a lot of time and could apply to anyone working in a patient setting, “Sometimes it takes just ten seconds to stop, look the patient in the eye, and listen, to understand the patient’s needs. Being fully present and mindful in that moment lets the patient know you are there for them.”
 
In the Moment: Stories of Mindfulness in Nursing,” is a partnering piece to the “Mindful Nurse” articles. This visual narrative depicts the stories of five nurses sharing real scenarios of when they used mindfulness in their work. This moving series of short videos includes Jaime Hanson BSN, CDS, and Eastern Maine Medical Center clinical documentation specialist, and was designed to increase understanding about what mindfulness looks like from the voice of nurses at all stages of their career.
 
Interested in learning more about mindfulness? Find practical, easy ways to integrate mindfulness into your, or your team’s, day as recommended by the Mayo Clinic.