Nurse retention is a constant battle in healthcare. It has been estimated that to replace one registered nurse, it can cost anywhere between $17,728 and $104,686.
The high stress environment can affect every nurse differently. Some will experience negative outcomes, such as burnout and traumatic stress, while others, known as the “resilient” people, will be able to adapt to this environment.
Higher resilience is directly linked to nurse retention and researchers have been trying to find ways to impart resilience on the workforce as a whole.
Pamela van der Riet recently spoke with Nursing Review about the theory behind mindfulness training. Professor Desley Hegney of CQU and clinical psycholgist Mark Cragie have taken it one step further and have developed a mindfulness-based self-care and resiliency intervention.
Originating from Western Australia, this consists of a one-day compassion fatigue prevention education workshop, followed by weekly mindfulness training seminars.
Before the workshop, participants showed a 45 per cent burnout rate compared to 15 per cent after completing the training.
"I wish I'd done it six months earlier because I might not have got in the hole that I got into at the beginning of this year," said one nurse.
Another nurse described her stress levels after the training.
“So, you need this done and that has to be done and it’s got to be done yesterday and there's lots of demands,” they said.
“So, I can run around like a mad chook with my head cut off and try and satisfy everybody's needs and become more frustrated and more unhappy, or I can take a few deep breaths, take a couple of minutes, do a little mindfulness exercise and then think, 'okay what's the biggest priority.'"
Nursing Review spoke to Hegney and Cragie to hear more about the training and how we can all relax.
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