Nursing can be a rewarding job, but it is also challenging. Nurses need to keep on top of their mental health, as they give the best care to patients when operating with optimum wellness. Nurses’ health is perhaps the essential factor for providing high-quality patient care. Achieving the best patient outcomes requires nurses to have high levels of physical and mental health. Mindfulness can be an effective component of nurse self-care to achieve this.
Nursing health appraisal
The American Nurses Association (ANA) promotes the improvement of the health and wellness of nurses. They were partners in The Health Risk Appraisal (HRA), which found that 68% of nurses put their patients’ health, wellness, and safety before their own. The results of the HRA show there is room for improvement in nurses’ health.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the concept of being present and connected to the moment. This helps push away negative thoughts and reduce their power. Practicing mindfulness will help nurses make balanced decisions in high-pressure situations rather than reacting from raw emotion. Mastering mindfulness can build resilience when dealing with stress and improve mental health.
Mindfulness is associated with being significantly more relaxed. Stress reduction and heightened states of calm can improve nurses’ decision-making through situational awareness. This practice can help nurses feel more present and connected with patients and improve self-compassion too. The benefits of mindfulness for nurses result in patients receiving better healthcare and this contributes to improved patient outcomes.
Follow these steps to practice mindfulness:
- Sit in a chair with a straight back and put your feet flat on the floor. Relax your hands and arms.
- Close your eyes and be aware of your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Focus on the sensation of the air as it moves through your mouth or nose, down your throat, and into your lungs. Feel your chest expand and subside. Stay in touch with each breath.
- When thoughts enter your mind, gently bring your focus back to the breath. Focusing on the breath is central to mindfulness.
- Your mind may become calm, or it may not. It might still be full of thoughts. Again and again, return your awareness to the sensation of breathing.
- After a few minutes, or longer if you prefer, gently open your eyes and take in your surroundings.
This exercise must be done regularly and consistently to be beneficial.
For a quick, flexible path to a career in nursing, there is the online Second-Degree Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ASBN) which is offered by the University of Indianapolis. While attending this hybrid accelerated BSN program, students are supported by their teacher, student success advisor, and academic advisor. Along with mindfulness, it provides an individual needs to start a career in healthcare.
Nurses have a valuable yet demanding role, and their mental health is vital in ensuring they perform well at work. To look after patients to the best of their ability, nurses first need to look after themselves. Mindfulness can help nurses deal with stress and difficult situations, feel confident in decision-making, and deliver quality patient care.