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Professors Teach Stress Reduction to Hospital Students, Employees

UT Medical Center

Working in the medical field can be stressful even in the best of times, but the COVID-19 pandemic has many medical professionals feeling overwhelmed.

To counteract this, professors Joan Rentsch of the College of Communication and Information and David Patterson of the College of Social Work are leading weekly sessions in mindfulness-based stress reduction with medical residents and employees at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

The Zoom sessions include short guided meditation practices for the 25 to 35 participants, followed by time for discussion and teaching. Sessions usually finish in less than an hour.

“Mindfulness practices can aid participants in responding to stressors in their lives,” Rentsch said, with research evidence revealing that physiological changes to the body include improved immune functioning. “These sessions provide participants with an opportunity for self-care within a community context during this stressful time, which is also very important.”

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