Each May, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) promotes a full week of activities, resources and support aimed at improving clinician wellbeing in Australian emergency medicine – ACEM Wellness Week.
To celebrate ACEM Wellness Week (14-20 May 2023), we’re featuring EMF grant recipients who have used their funding to support their colleagues working across emergency healthcare.
The uSing Meditation App to Reduce ED occupational sTress (SMART) trial
Dr Grace Xu, Emergency Nurse Practitioner at QE II Jubilee Hospital has received acclaim for her JumpStart research project uSing Meditation App to Reduce ED occupational sTress (SMART), which trialled the use of a smartphone meditation and mindfulness app by staff in two regional EDs. The study found most participants appreciated the intervention and learned a new way to cope with workplace stress and promote wellbeing, with some embedding it into their daily life. The findings can help organisations identify a low-cost and feasible stress management and preventative intervention, which could be replicated in other healthcare environments.
Read more about Dr Xu’s work on our Grants profile page.
Dr Rajesh Sehdev, Senior Staff Specialist at Townsville University Hospital (TUH), received an Emerge grant in 2021 for his project Staff experiences about wellness activities at a major referral emergency department in regional Queensland: A qualitative descriptive study.
Through interviews with staff about previous wellness programs at TUH, Dr Sehdev has used the findings to tailor this year’s ED wellness program to the needs and interests of local staff. With the program in full swing right now, it features an array of activities from education sessions on stress management, social outings to a seedling and plant exchange!
Dr Sehdev said the activities are having an immediate impact.
“It’s so good to see our workplace transformed from a battle raging in the trenches to a positive, supportive, problem-solving, learning, fun-filled space that delivers high-quality care amidst compassion, appropriate humour, and frequent smiles on the faces of staff, patients, and visitors.”
Dr Sehdev said taking a team approach is the best way to embed staff wellness initiatives.
“It is beneficial to collaborate with like-minded colleagues to establish and maintain a Wellbeing Interest Group. Involve the department’s leadership team in helping prioritise staff wellbeing, including promoting social cohesion. For Wellness Week it is worthwhile to plan ahead, to quarantine teaching timeslots and spaces to wellbeing topics, and to share responsibility with colleagues for the various desired activities and social events,” said Dr Sehdev.