"The Pause" Brings Peace to Medical Teams

UVA nurse Jonathan Bartels created a new way to honor patients. It's called The Pause.

"A nurse at the University of Virginia Medical Center was nominated for a prestigious award this year. He did something that took less than a minute but made a big difference in the lives of healthcare professionals whose patients died.

The goal of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals is to keep people alive, but sooner or later they will lose that battle. And when that happened, emergency department nurse Jonathan Bartels could see his colleagues shutting down -- repressing their emotions.

"The difficulty people had of just walking away and the feeling of pain", he recalls. "People are putting their lives in your hands, and when you can't pull them back, that really affects how your respond."

For the sake of good mental health, he thought it would be better to take a moment - to pause and reflect.

"The practice itself is to just stand and acknowledge the loss, acknowledge the work that we've done, to honor the life that lived in our own way and in silence. So it allows for a multi-cultural approach to a difficult situation," he explains."

(Emphasis added)

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For the sake of mental health, don't forget to pause and reflect this winter break!

Reflection through writing or other artistic mediums can help us to:

  • make meaning
  • shape thoughts and gain clarity
  • generate new insights
  • gauge progress
  • release emotions, provide relief, and alleviate stress