Written by Kristin Kilburg, Medical Mindfulness Director + Yoga in the Schools Instructor
Does yoga and mindfulness belong in healthcare? To answer this question, let’s first put ourselves in a healthcare setting. This means spending several hours of your day in a fast-paced and high-stress environment. You could be a nurse, physician, receptionist, aid, pharmacist, janitor, therapist, etc. You are constantly juggling demands and needs from patients, insurance companies, supervision and management, government, technology and equipment…the list goes on and on.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the demands of working in healthcare have multiplied, which has ultimately led to significantly increased stress and burnout among staff. According to an article by K. Jane Muir in Stat News, the average nurse turnover rate is at an all-time high of 20-30%. According to an American Medical Association article by Andis Robeznieks, the physician shortage in America poses a significant threat to our country’s medical needs.
So what business does the peace and stillness of yoga and mindfulness have in healthcare? Well, just that, actually- peace and stillness. In an environment that constantly requires your energetic, giving output, it is crucial to find time for stillness, peace and inner reflection. In doing so, you bring awareness to your inner world, and are able to pinpoint your emotions. From there, you have a question to answer: do I like how I feel and do I want to continue feeling this way? If the answer is no, Medical Mindfulness tools can help change how you’re feeling for the better.
Our Medical Mindfulness mission at Challenge to Change is to empower healthcare professions to utilize the practices of yoga and mindfulness to assist in their own healing and wellbeing. Our goal is for this to be accessible at the exact moment you require it.
And the tools do not have to be extensive or intensive. They can be as simple as a 60-second meditation to engage your 5 senses, a 30 second (or less!) breathing exercise to energize your mind and body, or even a conscious inhale and exhale. More on those in future blog posts.
By allowing time for their well being through medical mindfulness, a healthcare worker can then empower their patients to do the same. When healthcare workers practice and model these tools, it will have a domino effect of potentially reducing turnaround in staffing, decreasing burnout in providers, or even positively affecting the well-being of patients receiving care in any medical department.
If you are interested in learning more about Medical Mindfulness as patient care through Challenge to Change: https://www.challengetochangeinc.com/medical-yoga