Teaching and Learning Compassionate Care through Introduction of Self-Care Practices in a School of Nursing
Repository Posting Date2017-03-03T14:34:57Z
Author DetailsRegina M. DeGennaro, RN, CNS, AOCN, CNL; Rachael Zrimm
Lead Author Sigma AffliationBeta Kappa
Session presented on Saturday, March 18, 2017: Healthcare professionals are challenged daily with long work hours, high work loads and increasing patient acuity. Prolonged stress can take a toll on the health of clinicians and can interfere with the quality of the patient care that they provide. Teaching students, clinicians and the community about opportunities to find joy in their work of caring for people is a priority at this School of Nursing. This describes an analysis of a program at a School of Nursing in which innovative workshops are provided to encourage attention to self-care and promote compassionate interactions in healthcare settings. Drop-in sessions of yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices are held weekly and are well attended, reflecting the eagerness of students, faculty and staff to engage in resilience-building practices. Demographic data, program timeframes, and participant evaluations paint a picture of a flourishing community. The cultivation and nourishing of a resilient and compassionate healthcare workforce through innovative educational and experiential programs is embraced. The vision includes high functioning healthcare environments with vibrant healthcare professionals in which heart and humanness are valued and embodied. Clinicians, professors and students are learning concrete ways to introduce compassion into every patient interaction and strengthening their own resilience in the process. Programs, retreats and workshops are centered on mindfulness, self-care and resilience. Purposeful instruction in compassion is considered critical to nurturing strong and empathic clinicians who are safe, less likely to experience burnout and more deeply in tune with their patients and themselves. Mindful attention to self-care boosts the well-being and professional longevity of clinicians and others. Feedback from participants has reinforced that workshops and resilience retreats benefit healthcare workers and the quality of care they believe they are capable of providing. Program outcomes illustrate the importance of teaching about self-care and inviting it into a community of learning. Promoting compassionate care practices in education can inform methods for supporting an empathic and caring healthcare workforce. Aspects from this program may be adapted to other organizations where there is interest in promoting clinician resilience and optimizing patient care outcomes. Learning Objectives: Describe the process of assessment and implementation of a program at a School of Nursing to cultivate a resilient healthcare work-force that is committed to the highest quality, compassionate care. Identify at least two reasons why it is necessary to teach increased awareness of self-care practices in order to foster a resilient healthcare workforce and ultimately enhance patient outcomes.