Exploration of mindfulness in relation to compassion, empathy and reflection within nursing education
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
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AbstractBackground: This article will look at the viability of the inclusion of mindfulness into the nursing curriculum. In nursing, the environment rarely allows the time for contemplation, though reflection is encouraged specifically in regard to the care we confer on our patients and how that impacts on us professionally. Student nurses are taught to hide their feelings to a point where they cannot find it themselves under their professional armour. Mindfulness is a possible way of bridging this gap. Discussion: Our nursing code is geared to safeguard the patient from any harm as well as our colleagues but little is done or said in support of our own personal psychological or emotional health. The helping professions are restricted by legislation which has had an impact of fostering caution and fearfulness. In using mindfulness it can be seen as a possibility in building a bridge between what actually happens in a nurse's professional life and the possibility of reengaging with that internal emotional space. If student nurses begin to incorporate mindfulness techniques, in reality this should make a difference. This was experienced with students doing these exercises, who reported anecdotally feeling more centred. As they have progressed in the course feedback from the students using the techniques has been positive not only for the students but also for them using the skills in a clinical setting, benefiting patients. Conclusion: Mindfulness has been used as a part of the modality of health care. It is clear that mindfulness is another way of dealing with the stressors of the modern heath service in which the students are being introduced. Incorporating this coping strategy into the curriculum ensures that students will have the tools to deal with the stressors of the course, which in turn will enhance the student experience.
CitationWalker M, Mann R (2016) 'Exploration of mindfulness in relation to compassion, empathy and reflection within nursing education', Nurse Education Today, 40, pp.188-190.
JournalNurse Education Today
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