The MIND (Meditative Individualized Nursing-student De-stress) Initiative
The literature is clear concerning occupational stress among practicing nurses. Occupational stress causes anxiety, depression, and burnout and has nurses leaving the profession in record numbers. The stress experienced by practicing nurses often begins in undergraduate nursing programs, where high stakes performance, long clinical hours and heavy course loads combine in a perfect storm of stress and anxiety, which in turn leads to poor performance, test anxiety and difficulty recalling information. Nursing education is an immersive education that takes inexperienced students to the bedside of clients who are critically ill and often times dying, yet provides little guidance on how to psychologically cope with these experiences. Students are told to take care of themselves and manage their stress. However, no concrete solutions are provided on how to do this. A goal in Pitt’s strategic plan is to “Advance Educational Excellence” through preparing students to lead lives of impact through a supportive environment focused on a holistic and individualized approach to learning inside and outside the classroom. This personalized education project aligns with that goal through the incorporation of mindfulness techniques in the classroom and clinical settings. By directing interested students to this particular resource, their educational experience may be enriched. The hope is that these individualized techniques can be carried with the student into their career and personal life.
Elizabeth D. Katrancha