Introducing Mindfulness in Healthcare OrganizationsPosted: August 3, 2013
Inspired by Daniel Goleman’s July 28, 2013 article “Introducing Mindfulness in Organizations,” I posted the following discussion question on several LinkedIn Groups: “…I am making an assumption that introducing mindfulness in hospitals and healthcare organizations is important and of interest. I do believe it is critically important for person-centered (staff, physician, leader and patient/family) care. Do you agree? If so, what are some effective ways of introducing mindfulness in healthcare?”
Immediately after posting the discussion question, I found a partial answer in Louise Altman’s July 25, 2013 blog “Mindfulness is a Whole Body Experience.” Altman writes:
Dr. Daniel Beal co-author of a Rice University study on emotional suppression in the workplace comments, ‘Our study shows that emotional suppression takes a toll on people. It takes energy to suppress emotions, so it’s not surprising that workers who must remain neutral are often more rundown or show greater levels of burnout. The more energy you spend controlling your emotions, the less energy you have to devote to tasks at hand.’
While there are many professions that require its workers to “remain neutral,” healthcare — with its added life-saving stresses and inherent risks — is a prime environment in which its workers are expected to remain emotionally neutral in the face of never-ending and complex demands.
Perhaps, one of the most basic and fundamental ways of introducing mindfulness in healthcare organizations is to highlight the benefits that mindfulness training and practice could have on its caregivers who experience constant stress and demands on and the emotional suppression and neutrality often required of them. Mindfulness and emotional intelligence are inextricably linked; therefore, it seems to me that introducing mindfulness in healthcare organizations would not only improve the caregiver experience but directly correlate to the patient and family experience as well.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on the subject:
While “I am making an assumption that introducing mindfulness in hospitals and healthcare organizations is important and of interest. I do believe it is critically important for person-centered (staff, physician, leader and patient/family) care. Do you agree? If so, what are some effective ways of introducing mindfulness in healthcare?”
Thanks for reading! I look forward to your comments and thoughts.