Hospitals try holistic approach to treat docs' stress, burnout

To help treat physicians and nurses suffering from stress and burnout, some hospitals are trying a holistic approach that addresses their intensive emotional or spiritual needs, the Huffington Post reported.

Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea are offering "Code Lavender," a holistic care rapid response to clinicians in need.  Within 30 minutes of hearing the code, a team of holistic nurses arrive to give Reiki, massages, healthy snacks, water and a lavender armband to remind the doctor or nurse to take it easy the rest of the day, according to the article. Spiritual support and counseling are also available.

"We thought originally that it would be for patients and their family members, but as it turned out, we started doing them mostly for staff," Amy Greene, director of spiritual care at Cleveland Clinic, told the Post. "[Cleveland Clinic] caregivers are used to seeing really difficult cases, but even they are going to buckle when they get hit two or three times in one day,"

A 2012 national study found half of all physicians experience burnout, with the highest numbers reported in emergency, family and critical care units, according to the article.

The Code Lavender program has been in place since 2008, and looks to support nurses and doctors during emotionally troubling or exhausting times, especially after the death of one or several long-term patients, according to the article. The Clinic also offers yoga classes, weight loss programs and mindfulness training.

Holistic alternatives are growing in popularity. Forty-two percent of surveyed hospitals offer one or more complementary and alternative medicine therapies, such as acupuncture, homeotherapy and herbal medicine, according to a 2011 American Hospital Association report.

Another survey from AHA showed that 38 percent of responding adults used some sort of alternative therapy, the most popular methods being natural products, deep breathing, meditation, chiropractic care, massage, yoga, and diet, usually to treat back or neck pain, joint paint or stiffness, and anxiety or depression, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the article

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