top of page

Mindfulness in the Emergency Room

Updated: Aug 10, 2019

I don't think anyone can argue that working in healthcare is a stressful profession. The long hours, unpredictable patient needs, high demands and lack of funding takes a serious toll on the very people who we depend on when we are sick.

If mindfulness can ease the stress and improve the focus of healthcare professionals, don't you think it can help you at work, regardless of what your work entails? I read articles daily about mindfulness, and every so often an article rises above the others and really makes me take notice. This article from the Greater Good Science Center entitled "What we can learn from a mindful emergency room" is an amazing read.

Just read this article and see how critically important the benefits of mindfulness are in the ER.

It's not all that difficult to instill easy and quick mindfulness practice into your day personally, or even to start a simple mindfulness practice at work with your colleagues. This article provides three practices that they do every day:

  • During the handover time when staff change shifts, they have a four-minute pause. 45 staff members come together for four minutes to listen to a senior doctor talk about mindfulness and then guide a 90-second sitting meditation.

  • They encourage practicing moments of mindfulness during the workday, with flyers around the ER to remind them.

  • A weekly, 30 minute drop-in session for those who can attend.

How to implement mindfulness at a busy workplace - I'll share with you my favorites which I teach my facilitation students.

  1. Start small. Don't expect to implement a brand organization-wide program.

  2. Leverage the science. Ensure you show the proven benefits of the practice. There are lots of studies easily available online; here is one talking about brain changes.

  3. Show people how to practice mindfulness during their busy work day. It's not necessary to find a dark, quiet meditation room in order to practice mindfulness.

  4. Leadership support is very important. Build a business case using credible sources to get their support, and better yet, have some senior executives attend the mindfulness activities.

  5. Create a champion team. Having a coalition is so much more powerful than trying to do it alone.

Wishing you a peaceful day,

~Wendy Quan

Founder, The Calm Monkey


bottom of page