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Mindfulness Northwest Brings Mindfulness Skills to Healthcare Professionals

2 Jan 2020 8:23 AM | Catherine Duffy (Administrator)

Mindfulness Northwest Brings Mindfulness Skills to Healthcare Professionals

by Beth Glosten & Carolyn McCarthy

Mindfulness is a buzz word these days. If you believe all you read, you’d be convinced it is the answer to all life’s woes! Realistically, mindfulness brings awareness to our present moment experience, and helps us recognize when our habitual responses to life’s challenges contribute to our stress. Many medical professionals have found that the tools and practices of mindfulness improve the workday by increasing their ability to make good choices about one’s internal resources. This, in turn, reduces stress and improves outcomes.

Mindfulness Northwest (MNW), which offers classes in the Puget Sound region from Bellingham to Olympia, is an organization committed to bringing the ideas and skills of mindfulness to everyone. It offers courses throughout the Pacific Northwest – its primary offering being the well-studied Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): an 8-week course designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 1980’s. This course offers guided meditation practices and exercises to develop the skill of mindfulness: paying attention in a particular way -- on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgement. Benefits of the course include: reduced depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and stress reactivity. The results: improved emotional resilience and well-being.

Healthcare providers today are experiencing stress and burnout with concerning frequency. It is estimated that over 50 percent of physicians are struggling with burnout (the triad of emotional exhaustion, a tendency to “depersonalize” patients, and a sense of lack of efficacy) with the accompanying personal and institutional hazards of depression, substance abuse, suicide, absenteeism, medical errors, and reduced quality of patient care. Mindfulness has been shown to be significantly beneficial in: reducing stress and symptoms of burnout, increasing compassion, and improving patient satisfaction ratings, all at a lower cost than individual therapy.

MNW works with many area medical groups (UW Medical School, Evergreen Medical Center, The Everett Clinic, Kaiser Permanente/Washington Permanente Medical Group, Providence, and others) to bring the skills of mindfulness to healthcare providers. MNW offers to healthcare providers both the standard 8-week MBSR course, as well as 4- and 5-week courses of a similar nature, called Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals (MHP). The courses are offered through sponsoring medical clinics or through MNW (often online). Preliminary data collected by MNW suggest our MHP course results in decreased symptoms of burnout, increased mindfulness, and decreased perceived stress.

Interested in trying mindfulness? For the full listing of our classes offered, visit our website at: www.mindfulnessnorthwest.com/schedule.

Questions? Call us: 360.830.6439 x 0, or email:  office@mindfulnessnorthwest.com

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