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Introducing 'Embodying Your Practice'

  • Bulletin; Health & Safety
A new online resiliency course is now available to help members manage the stress and trauma in today’s health-care workplace

​BCNU is proud to offer a new personal resiliency course that helps participants detect stressors and their effects, and make it easier to navigate feelings of overwhelm, trauma, and burnout. The goal is to help members build and sustain feelings of calmness, even amid the challenges of today's health-care workplace.

Introduction to Embodying Your Practice is a customized on-demand course that's open to all BCNU members. Delivered by renowned somatic educators Anita Chari and Angelica Singh of Embodying your Curriculum, the course introduces participants to the foundational skills of trauma-informed practice to help settle the nervous system and process the overwhelm and trauma that may be held in the body.

Introduction to Embodying Your Practice is just one of the new educational offerings that are part of BCNU's mental health strategy and designed to support and strengthen members' psychological safety and mental well-being.

The nursing profession is a demanding one, with no shortage of physical and psychological hazards. BCNU members are exposed to trauma, violence and patient suffering on a daily basis. Today's health-care workplace is especially challenging given the demands that come from providing care during an opioid crisis, a global pandemic, in extreme heat, amid wildfires, and in crowded facilities with challenging staffing levels.

These factors and others can impact employee psychological health and safety at work and result in mental injury. Over 70 percent of participants surveyed in a recent provincial study of BC nurses' COVID-19 experiences and psychological health and safety reported having serious to significant concerns about psychological protection at work. Over half reported high levels of burnout and 31 percent reported experiencing moderate to severe depression.

"Resilience" refers to the ability to recover balance and regain a sense of well-being after exposure to the volatile situations encountered in health care. It is a key element to managing stress. When we are resilient, we are skilled at recognizing stressors and can be mindful of the physical and psychological impact they may have on us.

"We need to cultivate our ability to recognize when we should be putting more time into caring for ourselves," says Aida Herrera, BCNU's executive councillor for health and safety. "Nurses are trained to put their patients first, but they also need to understand when and how to give priority to their own needs too."

The Introduction to Embodying Your Practice modules teach practical and effective tools to help settle the nervous system. The trauma-informed practices are designed to work with a person's regular routine and can be easily incorporated into activities such as the daily commute, preparing meals, organizing charts on a shift, or facing a challenge. The course helps participants find a feeling of calm and sense of settledness and teaches them how to sustain that feeling. These skills are fundamental to strengthening personal resilience. 

Members can register for the course here. 

Visit the BCNU website's Mental Health Strategy page for more information. 

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