Brief Mindfulness Meditation With Night Nursing Unit Staff: A Qualitative Study

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Abstract

Nurses and nursing assistants working at night on an inpatient unit are under signicant stress. Because mindfulness reduces stress and enhances workplace life, this qualitative study explored night shift staff attitudes toward brief group mindfulness practice. For 8 months, 3 times a week, the staff was called together at the nursing station around midnight and led through 2 to 5 minutes of guided mindfulness meditation. Six months after these groups ended, perceptions of this experience were gathered from 5 nurses and 5 nursing assistants via interviews and open-ended questionnaires. Data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis, with themes identied as they emerged from the data. The study findings noted that several participants were slow to recognize the value of the practice, but this shifted so that by the end, all participants felt positively about participating. Most perceived its benet for themselves as well as for others in the following areas: relationship to self and family, ability to focus, teamwork, decreased stress, improved attitude, and increased compassion toward patients. This brief team mindfulness intervention had many benets for participants and patients but took time to achieve staff buy-in. Future research should examine the generalizability of these findings and clarify implementation strategies.

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