Mindfulness as therapy
Mindfulness is definitely becoming more recognised in the practice as an emerging recovery option for mental health patients. A lot of my colleagues who work in the community definitely rely on mindfulness techniques more than we would in a patient unit, mainly because they have a lot more time and set hours with individual patients than we do.
Unfortunately, mindfulness isn’t part of the curriculum for training nurses in Australia at present. Students might touch on it briefly in postgraduate training, but generally there’s less of a focus on therapies in training.
But knowing that my colleagues here are actually using it out in the community, and realising that mindfulness is an emerging recovery option, I started thinking about how I could bring some of the techniques into the unit.
I wanted to be able to start working on some techniques so that when they go back out into the community, they can build on them with their case workers.
Benefitting healthcare professionals
While I’ve absolutely got some go-to skills down pat that I use with my patients, I must admit that I can’t do mindfulness for myself. I don’t have the self-discipline.
That said, I do think we as nurses could benefit from some mindfulness techniques and strategies ourselves, especially now. We’ve had several really stressful months recently, and so coming together after a shift to have a quick debrief and reflective practice is definitely something we can start to implement in the unit.