Mindfulness Meditation Can Improve Safety in Your Practice

Mindfulness meditation is a popular topic in the media now. Research has already demonstrated the clinical benefits of mindfulness-based stress reduction for patients with chronic pain or anxiety disorders | ONS Voice

Although there’s been limited research about the benefits of mindfulness stress reduction for oncology nurses and their patients, some evidence suggests that engaging in mindfulness exercises could lead to a safer environment.

Understanding human behaviors as they relate to attention and awareness is important. So much of our human behavior is automated. Consider how often you may switch into auto-pilot as you go through your day. Have you arrived at your house after a long shift and realized you don’t remember driving through that tunnel or over that bridge you cross every day? These are examples of mindless behaviors—something psychologists recognize as the antithesis of mindfulness and attention.

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Mindfulness predicts student nurses’ communication self-efficacy

The aim of this study was to compare student nurses’ communication self-efficacy, empathy, and mindfulness across two countries, and to analyse the relationship between these qualities | Patient Education and Counseling


The study included 156 student nurses, 94 (60%) were Swedish. The mean communication self-efficacy score was 119 (95% CI 116–122), empathy score 115 (95% CI 113–117) and mindfulness score 79 (95% CI 78–81). A Mann-Whitney test showed that Swedish students scored significantly higher on communication self-efficacy, empathy, and mindfulness than Norwegian students did. When adjusted for age, gender, and country in a multiple linear regression, mindfulness was the only independent predictor of communication self-efficacy.

The Swedish student nurses in this study scored higher on communication self-efficacy, empathy, and mindfulness than Norwegian students did. Student nurses scoring high on mindfulness rated their communication self-efficacy higher.

A mindful learning approach may improve communication self-efficacy and possibly the effect of communication skills training.

Full reference: Sundling, V. et al. (2017) Mindfulness predicts student nurses’ communication self-efficacy: A cross-national comparative study. Patient Education and Counseling. Vol. 100 (Issue 8) pp. 1558–1563.

Meditation Program and Healthcare Providers’ Interoceptive Awareness, Compassion Fatigue, and Burnout

Research suggests that meditation can relieve stress, cultivate self-regulation skills, improve ability to focus, and modify risk for compassion fatigue (CF) and burnout in healthcare providers | Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing


This pilot study examined a novel 6-week technology-assisted meditation program, coherently grounded in the system of yoga therapy that required minimal time. Five 10- to 12-minute meditations were offered via smartphone apps supported by biweekly e-mails. Hospice and palliative professionals at a Midwestern US healthcare network participated in the program (n = 36). Each meditation integrated attention, synchronized breath, gentle movements and a meditation focus. Weekly e-mails introduced a new meditation and reminded participants how and why to practice.

The participants used the meditations a mean of 17.18(SD, 8.69) times. Paired t tests found significant presurvey to postsurvey improvements for CF/burnout (P < .05) and interoceptive awareness (P < .001). Participation significantly heightened perceived ability and propensity to direct attention to bodily sensations, increased awareness of physical sensations’ connections to emotions, and increased active body listening. The technology-assisted yoga therapy meditation program successfully motivated providers to meditate. The program required minimal time yet seemed to reduce CF/burnout and improve emotional awareness and self-regulation by heightening attention to present-moment bodily sensations.

Full reference: Heeter, C. et al. (2017) Effects of a Technology-Assisted Meditation Program on Healthcare Providers’ Interoceptive Awareness, Compassion Fatigue, and Burnout. Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing. Volume 19 (Issue 4) pp. 314–322

Use of Mindfulness in Coping With Incivility

Green, C. (2017) Nurse Educator. 42(3) pp. 137


The experience of incivility in nursing education can be difficult for novice and experienced faculty. The workplace may become an environment of hostility and a source of stress, resulting in depression and physical illnesses.

Mindfulness-based meditation teaches us to think before we react and to discover the origin of our frustrations, stress, anxiety, and depression, thereby disempowering the difficult circumstances currently being faced within our immediate environment. The key components of mindfulness include paying attention, focusing on your breathing, and awakening your senses to your external environment and internal responses to the uncivil behavior.

The full comment article is available for download here

Mindfulness in promoting occupational safety in health care

Dierynck, B. et al. (2017) Medical Care Research and Review. 74(1) pp. 79-96


Although the importance of safety regulations is highly emphasized in hospitals, nurses frequently work around, or intentionally bypass, safety regulations. We argue that work-arounds occur because adhering to safety regulations usually requires more time and work process design often lacks complementarity with safety regulations.

Our main proposition is that mindfulness is associated with a decrease in occupational safety failures through a decrease in work-arounds. First, we propose that individual mindfulness may prevent the depletion of motivational resources caused by worrying about the consequences of time lost when adhering to safety regulations. Second, we argue that collective mindfulness may provide nursing teams with a cognitive infrastructure that facilitates the detection and adaptation of work processes.

The results of a multilevel analysis of 580 survey responses from nurses are consistent with our propositions. Our multilevel analytic approach enables us to account for the unique variance in work-arounds that individual and collective mindfulness explain.

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