Sunday, 29 March 2015

Hospital treats nursing stress with courses in ‘mindfulness’


From The Bulletin

By David Templeton / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


PITTSBURGH "Caring for patients can be “organized chaos,” nurses say. As the foot soldiers of health care, they function at the pressure point, the front lines of the war zone, where “you have to be flawless.”

“You can’t make one mistake,” said Daniel Griffiths, 47, of Greenfield, a nurse at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Montefiore. “It’s physically draining. You’re on your feet for a 12-hour shift.”

It helps explain why stress levels in nursing can lead to mental and physical exhaustion, burnout, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and sleep disorders. These occupational hazards, in turn, trespass onto one’s free time.

“When stress is high, it becomes difficult to make easy choices,” Griffiths said, noting his recent trouble deciding among loops, flakes or pops. “After work, if I go to get cereal at the grocery store, it’s hard to make a choice.”

Stress levels among its ranks have prompted the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing to sponsor training workshops in mindfulness meditation for regional nurses. About 50 participated in two daylong training sessions recently at a local facility.

Mindfulness, with roots in Buddhism, long has been accepted psychotherapy for stress, anxiety, pain and trauma. It allows a person to enter into the present moment by focusing on breathing and the senses, leading to insight and mindful action. The ultimate outcome can be acceptance and transformation of suffering..." more

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