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Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals

Stress Resilience and Burnout Prevention

Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals (MHP) is an intensive stress reduction and burnout prevention training program containing the core elements of the renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) curriculum customized and extended for Healthcare practitioners, leadership and staff.

Levels of stress and burnout in the healthcare profession have been exacerbated in recent decades by significant changes in how health care is delivered and administered. Extensive research has shown that mindfulness training, and the MBSR and MHP curricula in particular, can have significant positive impacts on participants’ job satisfaction, their relationships with patients, co-workers and administration, and their focus and creativity at work. The data, both third party and our own, specifically show that participants’ feelings of stress and burnout are greatly improved by the end of the course. (See “MHP: Evidence-based”, below.)

Training Results

After this training, participants should be able to:

  1. Employ formal and informal mindfulness training techniques in both preventive and responsive ways in high stress situations;

  2. Understand the three primary components of burnout and implement mindfulness practices to reduce risk of burnout along these axes;
  3. Identify helpful and unhelpful thought patterns when they arise, and apply mindful problem solving, emotional regulation, and meaning-focused coping strategies, both at work and at home;
  4. Be more present, compassionate and engaged with patients in ways that promote better patient outcomes;
  5. Show change in mindfulness, perceived stress, and burnout as shown in standardized measures administered pre- and post-training.

Program structure

There are six meetings: five class sessions of 2.5 hours each and one 6-hour extended session.

Each meeting includes:

  1. Information on the scientific and contemplative basis of mindfulness.
  2. Hands-on mindfulness training exercises.
  3. Reflection and introspection on participants’ experiences in and out of class.
  4. Skillful facilitation of conversations between participants. The course is experiential and interactive.

As Director of Faculty Wellness at the University of Washington Medical School I have repeatedly hired Mindfulness Northwest to teach groups of physicians.

The classes were full with waiting lists from the day after they were announced.

The principal instructor, Tim Burnett, has an amazing ability to connect well with his students. He is very skillful at communicating the theoretical concepts of stress, coping and mindful communication. He clearly walks the walk and is very able to connect the theory with the practice. The class reviews were uniformly positive, and mostly glowing, with many participants signing up for more than one session.

From an administrative viewpoint, Mindfulness Northwest was extremely professional, well organized and easy to deal with. We offered both introductory and continuing mindfulness training.

Claudia Finkelstein, MDCM, Director of Faculty Wellness Programs
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, 
University of Washington Medical School


Learning Community Model: We have found that bringing participants together in a safe and interconnected classroom community itself helps healthcare professionals recognize how isolated and stressed they have become.

Continuing Education: While we are unable to grant CMEs directly, in sites with a Washington State Medical Association accredited sponsor the course has been approved for CMEs every time. We are happy to provide all of the needed documentation for a successful CME application.

MHP: An Evidence-based Stress Resilience and Burnout Prevention Curriculum

Stress and Burnout are serious problems. Physicians and other healthcare professionals are under extreme and growing risk for burnout and psychological distress as a result of on-the-job stressors. In 2012, Shanafelt et al. reported that nearly half of physicians report at least one symptom of burnout. In 2015, Shanafelt did a follow up study that demonstrated burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance in US physicians worsened significantly from 2011 to 2014.

The evidence is growing that this burnout comes at a cost not only to the physicians, but to their patients, colleagues, and families (McClarrerty 2014). 

In a 2009 paper, Freischlag & Shanafelt report that burnout has:

  • Professional consequences: medical errors, poor judgment and adverse patient outcomes;
  • Personal consequences: depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicide; and
  • Organizational consequences: disruptive behavior, lower patient satisfaction scores, and increased malpractice risk.

Finally, research suggests that when physicians are running low on empathy, their patients take longer to recover from illnesses and are less likely to adhere to treatment (Rakel et al. 2011, Canale et a.l 2012).

Mindfulness training is a part of the solution. Several research and pilot studies using mindfulness-based training for physicians, residents, and medical students have demonstrated improvement in quality of life and well-being for participants, and significant reductions in symptoms of burn-out, depression, total mood disturbance and anxiety (Krasner & Epstien 2009, Luken & Sammons 2016, Regebr et al. 2014, Hassed et al. 2009, Rosenzweig et al. 2003).

Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals Works for Participants and Organizations

Our Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals training includes all of the core elements of the well-studied Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction curriculum (Kabat-Zinn 1990, 1982, 2002) in a briefer and more concentrated format and is similar in scale to several mindfulness training interventions which have proven effective (Fourtney et al. 2013, Schoroeder et al. 2015).

Preliminary data we’ve collected suggests our course results in a decrease of symptoms of burnout, an increase in mindfulness, and a decrease in perceived stress. Specifically, the data show:

  • an increase in mindfulness of 11%;
  • a decrease in perceived stress of 21%;
  • a reduction in depersonalization of 15%:
  • a decrease in emotional exhaustion 6%; and
  • an increased sense of efficacy 8%.

Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals has been offered since 2011 at the University of Washington Medical School, The Everett Clinic, Evergreen Medical Center, Skagit Valley Regional Medical Center, PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s Medical Center, and Providence and through the WPHP and SCCA.

Research bibliography available on our website.

Besides the excellent quality of their well-designed and well-executed mindfulness-based stress-reduction programs, we appreciated Mindfulness Northwest’s businesslike approach and their responsiveness to the scheduling needs of our client organizations.

Jason Green, Founding Director
Washington Physicians Health Program Wellness Program



From participants

I did not realize how burned out I was until I filled out the physician burnout survey just before the first MHP class. I had been going to work and having a bad day each day, but had not made the connection that I was having a bad day every day. I really was not enjoying my job, not even the time spent with patients, which had always been the fun part of it. Within 2 weeks of starting the MHP class, I started enjoying patient care again, and with regular meditation, the millions of little daily annoyances stopped getting to me. Recently, I stopped meditating for a few weeks and began to feel the irritation creeping back (although I am at least still enjoying my time with patients). I started meditating again and am already feeling better.The MHP course gave me a chance to develop stress-lowering techniques that I can incorporate into the usual course of my busy day as a resident. These methods have allowed me to provide better care for patients by being able to be more focused when I am speaking with them rather than worried about what I need to do when I leave the patient’s room.

The focus that the course has on teaching students to be present in the moment has also helped me to better separate my work life from my home life which helps me feel more focused when I am at work and better able to foster personal relationships outside of work. I believe that other residents would benefit from the techniques taught in this course.

Participating in MHP was great in a number of ways. I am pretty good at holding “curiosity” as a cornerstone of how I approach relationships with patients. It is a helpful way to ground myself and to not wander over into the world of judgment. The course reminded me to also be gentle with myself, well more so than I usually am, to notice when something came up or a practice was challenging, but not to get judgmental about it. And at the outset, I was facing an unknown future (and really whose is not?!) with a fair amount of fear. I cannot say the course eliminated the fear but it again reminded me of the stance of curiosity, openness.

The practices are useful, especially if I were to really adopt them as practices. And regardless of how attentive I am to incorporating them in my daily life, they are there for me to have and use, and they have been useful for me since the course.

Learning and practicing the various techniques will be really helpful for my work with patients and others who I advise.

Current & Upcoming MHP Classes

    • 8 Apr 2019
    • 13 May 2019
    • 5 sessions
    • St. Joseph Hospital, Conference Room 5/6, 2901 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham, WA 98225
    • 7


    A 14-credit CME mindfulness series in Bellingham for area medical professionals and therapists and their spouses or partners.


    The Physicians' Well-Being Network and Mindfulness Northwest are happy to continue to provide this program to enhance the health of regional healthcare professionals.

    Join us in an investigation of mindfulness from the inside out. Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals is based on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). MBSR is the best researched mindfulness intervention with positive research indications for:

    • Reduced stress and anxiety while working
    • Reduced burnout
    • Improved communication and relationships with patients
    • Better patient outcomes
    • Improved communications and relationships with co-workers
    • Improved focus and creativity
    • Greater job satisfaction
    This Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals class was inspired by MBSR and offers a deep taste of mindfulness training in a shorter 5-week period.

    Eligibility:
    This course is for healthcare professionals and therapists (MD/DO/PA/NP/RN/LMHC/MHC/MSW, etc.) and their spouse or partner.

    Course details:
    Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals is a structured 5-week, 16 hour course on mindfulness that promotes stress reduction, health and well-being. This highly participatory, practical class includes:

    • Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
    • Guided instruction in stretching and mindful yoga
    • Inquiry exercises to enhance awareness in everyday life
    • Group dialogue and small group exercises
    • Daily home assignments
    • A CD of meditations for home practice
    • a 60-page workbook with short readings, a guide to the course, and resources to support your ongoing investigation of mindfulness

    This course is derived from the well-researched, 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and the Center for Mindfulness at the UMass Medical Center. Further details found below.

    This course has been offered to physicians, healthcare professionals and therapists at many regional medical centers since 2012 including UW Medicine, Evergreen Health, The Everett Clinic, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and the Skagit Valley Medical Center through the Northwest Washington Medical Society or co-sponsored with the Washington Physicians Health Program.

    Instructor: Tim Burnett, Executive Director & Guiding Instructor at Mindfulness Northwest

    Schedule and Location:

    4 classroom sessions:  Apr 8 - May 13 (skipping Apr 22 & May 6).

    St. Joseph Hospital
    Conference Room 5/6 (the right side of room 5/6 as you leave the cafeteria)
    2901 Squalicum Parkway
    Bellingham, WA 98225
    (map and directions)

    All-Day Retreat: Sunday, May 5, 10 am - 4 pm.

    Semiahmoo County Park Cannery Lodge
    9261 Semiahmoo Pkwy
    Blaine, WA 98230
    (map and directions)

    Cost: $240 - $360 Sliding Scale Tuition. We also have special Scholarship Tuition options available for those unable to pay at the low end of the sliding scale. Payment plans are also available during registration (four equal monthly payments; no financing fee). 

    The registration fee includes all nine meetings and instructional materials (course manual and home practice CDs.)

    To Register:
       Register Online or register by phone at 360-830-6439 ext 0.

    Continuing Education:
    PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center is accredited by the Washington State Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

    PeaceHealth St. Joseph designates this live activity for a maximum of 14 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    This activity meets the criteria for up to 14 hours of Category I Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit to satisfy the relicensure requirements of the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission.

    Category 1 CME credits are generally accepted on a 1:1 equivalency by nursing, social work, mental health counseling and other licensing authorities. Health care professionals are advised to check about equivalencies with their licensing authorities in advance.

    Disclosure: The Planning Committee, faculty and CME Committee of PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center disclose no relevant commercial interest.

    Learning Objectives:
    After this education, learners should be able to:

    • 1.  Employ formal and informal mindfulness training techniques in preventive and responsive ways in high stress situations;
    • 2.  Identify the three primary components of burnout and implement mindfulness practices to reduce risk of burnout along these three axes;
    • 3.  Discuss with peers strategies for positive, mindful engagement in work and home situations which trigger stress response and unhelpful behaviors;
    • 4.  Identify helpful and unhelpful thought patterns, problem solving, emotional regulation, and meaning-focused coping strategies;
    • 5.  Show change in mindfulness, perceived stress, and burnout as shown in standardized measures administered pre and post.

    Additional Details:
    This course is based on the longer Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training which has been shown in numerous studies to:

    • increase immune system function
    • reduce anxiety
    • prevent relapse of depression
    • reduce negative emotions responding to stress
    • manage chronic pain
    • help manage chronic health conditions including high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, heart disease, asthma, GI distress, and skin disorders
    • provide an effective coping mechanism for short and long-term stressful situations
    • encourage growth in the brain areas associated with learning, memory, focus, attention, emotional regulation, and empathy
    • enhance compassion and altruism
    • with relationships and communication, parents reduce pregnancy-related anxiety
    • help professionals cope with stress, connect with patients, and reduce burnout-inducing negative emotions and anxiety.
    • help veterans and other sufferers of PTSD
    • with obesity - increase “mindfulness of eating”
    • provide an increase in general health and well-being through a focus on prevention and improved awareness of what's truly harmful and helpful

    This condensed Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals class includes much of the MBSR material, offering a deep taste of mindfulness in a shorter class.


    Our Other Classes, Workshops, and Retreats

    See our entire schedule of classes, workshops, and retreats.
    • 5 May 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Semiahmoo County Park (Whatcom County), 9261 Semiahmoo Pkwy, Blaine, WA 98230
    • 1
    Register

    A silent day of continuous practice

    for Healthcare Professionals at beautiful Semiahmoo

    A silent day of continuous practice at the gorgeous Semiahmoo County Park north of Bellingham - a very beautiful and peaceful location for practice on the spit surrounding Drayton Harbor, across from Blaine. We'll practice together inside their historic Cannery Lodge, with options for walking meditation and lunch break time outside on the water.


    During this day-long retreat we will be guided in a sequence of meditation and mindfulness practices including: sitting meditation, the body scan, walking meditation (indoors and out!), gentle mindful yoga, and contemplative practices like the loving-kindness meditation.

    The retreat is designed especially for those who have taken Mindfulness Northwest classes. A day to gather, see old friends, and re-invigorate our practice together. Others with teacher-led meditation experience or a background in contemplative practice are invited to join as well. If you are totally new to meditation this day may be a challenge but you are welcome to inquire - for some "jumping in" is a great way to start.

    Instructor:

    Tim Burnett, Executive Director and Guiding Instructor at Mindfulness Northwest. Tim is certified to teach MBSR by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts.

    Location:
    Semiahmoo County Park Cannery Lodge
    9261 Semiahmoo Pkwy
    Blaine, WA 98230
    (map and directions)

    Cost: $50 - $90 Sliding Scale Tuition. Payment plans are also available during registration  (four equal monthly payments; no financing fee). 

    Registration:

       Register Online or by phone at 360-830-6439 ext 0.

    Additional Course details:

    A day of immersion into mindfulness, stress reduction, and body awareness. Formal practices including body scan, mindful yoga, and sitting and walking meditation practiced together in silence.

    Please bring:

    • Your lunch.
    • Layered clothing (including rain gear) as we often do walking meditation outside when possible.
    • A blanket for keeping warm during times of stillness or lying down.
    • An exercise or yoga mat if you have one.
    • A meditation cushion or bench if you prefer (there will also be chairs to use).
    • A commuter mug for tea if desired.

    Please see the MBSR page to review details about the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. This retreat is based on the MBSR principles and practices. MBSR is a well-researched class designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts. It has proven very effective in helping with many stress-related issues.


    Our Other Classes, Workshops, and Retreats

      See our entire schedule.

Some Past MHP Classes

29 Mar 2019 Your Brain on Mindfulness (Seattle)
7 Feb 2019 Online: Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals - Co-sponsored by WPHP & WSMA - Thursday Evenings
6 Jan 2019 Mindfulness for UW Medicine Healthcare Professionals (Seattle) - Sunday Evenings
28 Nov 2018 Online: Mindfulness for Kaiser Permanente Healthcare Professionals and Staff - Wednesday Evenings
7 Oct 2018 Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals (Bellingham) - Sunday Evenings
25 Sep 2018 Online: Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals of Washington State - Co-sponsored by WPHP & WSMA - Tuesday Evenings
5 Jun 2018 Online: Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals of Washington State - Co-sponsored by WPHP & WSMA - Tuesday Evenings
22 Apr 2018 Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals (Bellingham) - Sunday Evenings
8 Apr 2018 Mindfulness for UW Medicine Healthcare Professionals (Seattle) - Sunday Evenings
7 Jan 2018 Mindfulness for UW Medicine Healthcare Professionals (Seattle) - Sunday Evenings
6 Nov 2017 Mindfulness for WPMG Kitsap Clinicians (Silverdale) - Monday Mornings
11 Oct 2017 Mindfulness for Healthcare Providers - hosted by The Everett Clinic - Wednesdays Evenings
7 Sep 2017 Mindfulness for Healthcare Providers (Bellingham) - Thursday Evenings
26 Jun 2017 Mindfulness for Healthcare Providers (Bellingham) - Monday Evenings
17 May 2017 Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals - hosted by The Everett Clinic - Wednesdays Evenings
9 Apr 2017 Mindfulness for UW Medicine Healthcare Providers (Seattle) - Sunday Evenings
16 Mar 2017 Mindfulness for Healthcare Providers - Thursday Evenings (Bellingham)
29 Jan 2017 Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals (WPHP) - Sunday Evenings
10 Jan 2017 Mindfulness for Healthcare Providers - Tuesday Evenings (Bellingham)
26 Oct 2016 Mindfulness for Providers at The Everett Clinic - Wednesdays Evenings
23 Oct 2016 (Intro-WPHP) Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals - Sunday Evenings
23 Oct 2016 (Intro-NWMS) Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals - Sunday Evenings
12 Sep 2016 Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) - Monday Evenings
11 Sep 2016 (Intro-UW) Introduction to Mindfulness for the UW Medicine (Seattle) - Sunday Evenings

Copyright 2019 Mindfulness Northwest
Mindfulness Northwest, a 501c(3) Tax-Exempt Non-Profit
admin@mindfulnessnorthwest.com  360-830-6439
214 N. Commercial St. #103, Bellingham, WA 98225

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