Healthcare providers see need to de-stress nurses to create difference in patient care

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Healthcare providers see need to de-stress nurses to create a difference in patient care with introduction of technology and quality initiatives.

Stress has emerged as a 21st century disease that is usually ignored. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that stress-related disorders will become one of the leading causes of disability by 2020. Though stress affects every profession, levels and sources of stress are higher among professionals in the health industry, especially nurses.

On the occasion of the International Nurses Day observed annually on May 12, healthcare providers see meditation can be employed as an effective therapy to deal with stress in a clinical and learning environment. Hospitals including Columbia Asia has raised the bar for nursing practice and health outcomes by extending new possibilities for nursing impact like on the job training, strengthen communication skills, patient feedback mechanism, among others.

According to Dr Raja Amarnath G, Professor, Department of Pulmonology and Critical Care, Sree Balaji Medical College & Hospital and Senior consultant, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai said that several studies and investigations conducted in India and the UK have reported that nursing students are subjected to highly stressful environments as compared to students from other disciplines in the health industry such as physical therapy, pharmacy, dentistry, and medicine. The initial period of clinical education is highly stressful for students; while others show that irrespective of their academic level stress remains high during undergraduate education and training.

A recent research paper authored by Dr Amarnath G, Dr Raja Marimuthu S, Department of Orthopedics, Sree Balaji Medical College & Hospital, Chennai,; Sugirtha Jenitha, Clinical Researcher, Department of Critical Care, Sree Balaji Medical College & Hospital; Chitra Rajan, Consultant, Department of Environmental Sustainability, IIT-Chennai, India and Sujatha Karumari & Swati Patel, Stress Consultants, Chennai, concluded that Heartfulness meditation can be employed as an effective therapy to deal with stress. They suggest that Heartfulness Meditation should be considered for inclusion in the standard curriculum of nursing colleges.

The study conducted in a nursing college and involved 120 students who took part in a 3-hour Heartfulness meditation workshop, organized for three consecutive days. During the study Heartfulness meditation sessions led by a certified trainer conducted for three consecutive days, showed that post-meditation, participants experienced a clearer mind and sense of calmness. “When one tunes the mind to the heart, sensitivity improves, and one goes from just ‘thinking to feeling’ resulting in becoming more intuitive, more sensitive, and more compassionate,” he added.

Training is an investment in achieving productivity and employee retention through providing career development and job satisfaction in the long run, said Binu Sharma, senior vice president, Nursing Services, Columbia Asia Hospitals.

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