Introduction

Module summary

Mindfulness is the art of being fully aware through purposefully and non-judgmentally paying attention to the present moment. Its usefulness for patients and healthcare professionals has been repeatedly proven and several mindfulness techniques are gaining popularity within the healthcare sector. This module explores several mindfulness techniques which can be applied to healthcare practices.

Key areas covered

  • Mindfulness techniques for healthcare professionals
  • The mindfulness techniques which aim to help healthcare professionals manage stress, depression, emotional exhaustion or burnout
  • Techniques such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MSBR), mindfulness-backed therapeutic techniques (mindfulness based-interventions – MBIs), and trauma-informed approaches (TIAs).
  • Challenges of and methods for integrating these techniques into healthcare contexts
  • The cost-effectiveness of implementing mindfulness-based therapeutic approaches in healthcare

Learning outcomes

  1. Gain a broad understanding of mindfulness as a concept.
  2. Learn about mindfulness techniques, practices and exercises.
  3. Understand trauma-informed approaches

Importance of module to healthcare delivery

Mindfulness-backed techniques are a cost-effective way of improving the quality of care delivered to patients and enhancing the wellbeing of healthcare professionals.

Importance of module to individual healthcare professionals

Mindfulness helps health professionals to be more fully present with their patients and within themselves. The ability to pay attention to what is happening in the moment and with a specific patient, rather than being distracted by other demands and concerns, creates space for health professionals to use their experience and knowledge effectively, while prioritising the dignity of each patient. Being more present to their own experiences increases healthcare professionals’ ability to manage stress, and also helps to enhance their decision-making, well-being, and self-efficacy. Mindful meditation techniques are widely used to manage stress, and are especially effective at reducing the stresses of time pressure and excessive workload that make modern healthcare so challenging to cope with.