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Mindfulness Meditation Program for Nurses Essay

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Updated: Jun 8th, 2022

Introduction

The central issue in this study was to determine the place of an evidence-based solution to the problem of stress reduction among nurses by introducing awareness practices in daily clinical practice. Research directly aimed either at producing results from experimental applications or a rigorous review of existing case data is of primary importance to the task at hand. Thus, works were searched for in three scientific and academic electronic databases, such as PubMed, Google Scholar, and Elsevier Library, in two successive stages. In the first stage, the articles were searched using keywords such as “mindfulness meditation,” “EBP,” “nurses,” and “stress.” It should be noted that such a search was not always highly informative, since it offered articles not related to the current topic of the study. Consequently, in order to narrow down the scope of output, directional matching technologies were used several times, with keywords such as “RCT,” “methods,” “evidence-based.” The search at this stage resulted in the identification of 34 works that appeared to be suitable for discussion. The links to the works have been retained in the common document for future reference. The second stage of the selection of the works was conducted using three central inclusion criteria:

  1. The article should be written in English.
  2. The full text should be available.
  3. It should have a level of evidence at least III.

Among others, 11 articles were excluded from the general list because the scope of their investigation was directed at European and Asian countries, which raised doubts about the applicability of models in the United States. In addition, three of the 34 articles had quite a few limitations that currently do not allow for reliable information on the applicability of the results obtained in the general population, and consequently, it was decided not to include these works. After selection by the above criteria and two stages, ten studies were left, including mixed methods (N = 2), systematic reviews (N = 3), quasi-experimental studies (N = 4), and RCT (N = 1).

Mindfulness Meditation Program for Nurses: Justification

In the context of a pandemic, the development of mechanisms for monitoring and managing stress among nurses, including through spiritual and informed practices, is essential to maintaining sustainable health system functionality. There is no doubt that health workers face many challenges in their daily clinical routine — the onset of complications in their patients’ health, their death, communication with the patient’s family, or conflicting work requirements and pressure from managers — that have the potential to cause severe stress. Furthermore, Adzakpah et al. (2016) report that even conflicting demands from supervisors can be factors in the development of nurse professional psychological disorders. In other words, the professional stress of health professionals becomes a source of psycho-emotional tension. This can lead to impaired work performance, undermining the patient’s psychological and physical health, which is unacceptable in a pandemic crisis environment where each nurse’s performance can be critical to saving lives. In this regard, finding effective strategies for managing this condition becomes particularly important in the context of stressful pressure on the employee

Mindfulness Meditation Program for Nurses: Methods for Studying the Relationship

It should be recognized that most independent studies conducted by multidisciplinary specialists from different countries confirm the powerful impact of using conscious and spiritual practices in clinical activities to reduce overall stress levels (Janssen et al., 2018; Penque, 2019; Heredia et al., 2017). Studies based on quantitative and qualitative assessments of the link generally show that, after a professional program of awareness, meditation, and basics of correct breathing, nurses are positive about the influence of such practices and reducing anxiety (Sanko et al., 2016). However, it should be noted that a number of articles in this paper investigate the spectrum of conscious practices differentially, primarily in the methods used. Since stress, fear, emotional anxiety, and worries are categorized as subjective experiences, a qualitative research method of interviewing and surveying nurses becomes a reasonable approach to the study. The overwhelming majority of authors used these models to obtain information on participants’ stress levels before and after the training program. In this context, however, it is worth highlighting the work of Kelm et al. (2018), who, in addition to interviewing nurses, used neurophysiological methods of analysis such as skin screening and monitoring of brain activity during stressor interaction to obtain a more objective assessment of the impact of awareness training programs.

Mindfulness Meditation Program for Nurses: Conclusions About the Influence

The increased attention to stress reduction among nurses in the pandemic is primarily due to attempts to develop models that demonstrate an overall reduction in stress levels. It would be wrong to assume that the methods of stress management lying in the plane of awareness and meditation practices are limited to a small list of strategies. In fact, developed training programs for nurses offer a range of strategies and methods that can be used during stress and crisis conditions to maintain the functionality of a psycho-emotional state. Traditionally, such intervention is considered to be the conduct of educational workshops with nurses during their free time, throughout which professional specialists tell them about the basics of stress management. In particular, Penque (2019) indicates that these sessions take 2.5 hours a week: during this time, learners practice the techniques they learn daily in breathing exercises and mind control to distract them from harmful factors. In other words, throughout the eight-week program, nurses are taught the skills of self-control through spiritual practices and awareness techniques (Gholizadeh et al., 2018; Janssen et al., 2018). However, there are several points of view on the issue of specific pedagogical methods: thus, Rusch et al. (2018) illustrate a wide range of periods, from two to 16 weeks, and for 1-2.5 hours per day. Despite the variety of forms, it should be recognized that this evidence-based proposal has a proven effect not only on the psychological well-being of nurses but also on the immune system. The meditation programs conducted at six to eight weeks seem to have a positive effect on the inhibition of inflammatory processes, suppression of biological aging processes, and restoration of cellular immunity (Black & Slavich, 2016). Although these are preliminary data from the RCTs review, studies of this sort offer excellent prospects for incorporating awareness education practices into clinical routine.

Mindfulness Meditation Program for Nurses: The Magnitude of the Effect

The studies have identified two areas in relation to the magnitude of the effect of such practices on the overall condition of the health worker. Sanko et al. (2016) found that nurses feel more confident in managing professional stress after completing their programs, and the quality of their sleep has improved significantly. For this reason, many of the respondents were positive about the possibility of embedding such strategies in a clinical routine on an ongoing basis. Indeed, some authors even point to improved quality of sleep after passing the programs (Rusch, 2019). On the other hand, one cannot ignore studies illustrating the low performance of such universal programs in the context of the entire clinic: Saedpanah et al. (2016) argue that conscious stress management is ineffective when patients die. In general, it should be recognized that regardless of the breadth of the effect of such programs, they have a positive effect on the professional condition of the employee, especially in conditions of increased stress. It is known that the coronavirus pandemic has caused a significant number of deaths among patients and health professionals, therefore, according to Gholizadeh et al. (2017), these practices are particularly significant for intensive care workers. Ultimately, it is only with knowledge of how to manage one’s emotional state to cope with stress conditions that a nurse can be highly effective and efficient.

References

Adzakpah, G., Laar, A. S., & Fiadjoe, H. S. (2016). Occupational stress among nurses in a hospital setting in Ghana. Clinical Case Reports and Reviews, 2(2), 333-338. Web.

Black, D. S., & Slavich, G. M. (2016). Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1373(1), 13-25. Web.

Gholizadeh, M., Khademohosseini, S. M., Mokhtari Nouri, J., & Ahmaditahoor, M. (2017). The effect of mindfulness intervention on job stress in nurses of intensive care units. Critical Care Nursing Journal, 10(3). Web.

Heredia, L., Gasol, L., Ventura, D., Vicens, P., & Torrente, M. (2017). Mindfulness-based stress reduction training program increases psychological well-being, and emotional regulation, but not attentional performance. A pilot study. Mindfulness & Compassion, 2(2), 130-137. Web.

Janssen, M., Heerkens, Y., Kuijer, W., Van Der Heijden, B., & Engels, J. (2018). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on employees’ mental health: A systematic review. PLoS One, 13(1), 1-37. Web.

Kelm, D. J., Ridgeway, J. L., Gas, B. L., Mohan, M., Cook, D. A., Nelson, D. R., & Benzo, R. P. (2018). Mindfulness meditation and interprofessional cardiopulmonary resuscitation: a mixed-methods pilot study. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 30(4), 433-443. Web.

Penque, S. (2019). Mindfulness to promote nurses’ well-being. Nursing Management, 50(5), 38-44. Web.

Rusch, H. L., Rosario, M., Levison, L. M., Olivera, A., Livingston, W. S., Wu, T., & Gill, J. M. (2019). The effect of mindfulness meditation on sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1445(1), 5-17. Web.

Saedpanah, D., Salehi, S., & Moghaddam, L. F. (2016). The effect of emotion regulation training on occupational stress of critical care nurses. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 10(12). Web.

Sanko, J., Mckay, M., & Rogers, S. (2016). Exploring the impact of mindfulness meditation training in pre-licensure and post graduate nurses. Nurse Education Today, 45, 142–147. Web.

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