Nurses Are Burnt Out. Can Mindfulness Help?

We know mindfulness-based interventions have been successful in reducing burnout, stress, anxiety, and depression, but few studies have applied this to nurses. Here’s a look at how researchers are bridging the gap.

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While mindfulness is helpful in building resilience and improving nurses’ mental health, it doesn’t fix the larger issue: The healthcare system is crumbling, hospitals are understaffed, and nurses cannot provide safe patient care.

Mindfulness fostered conscious reflection, supported emotion regulation, and provided nurses with tools to work through challenging situations objectively

On his first day working in an acute care unit, Philip, a nursing student completing a placement in Toronto, Canada, watched as his preceptor (a registered nurse acting as a mentor for new nurses) walked off the job. “She was so stressed she quit on the spot, leaving me without a preceptor. That showed me just how bad it was,” said Philip, who didn’t want his name or hospital noted. 

The “it” that Philip is referencing is burnout. Specifically, the burnout that is rampant among nursing staff and is forcing hospitals to close emergency rooms, cancel surgeries, and scramble to hire replacements.

Nurses Are Burnt Out

It should come as no surprise that North American healthcare workers have faced extremely stressful working conditions due to high volumes of infected patients throughout the pandemic, and that these workers continue to struggle. Amidst changing attitudes toward COVID…