Author Q&A: The Mindful Health Care Professional

The Mindful Health Care Professional teaches health care professionals (HCPs) how to train the mind to be calm, focused, and compassionate in ways that enhance their own well-being and their ability to provide patient-centered care. This book offers the core communication skills needed to convey care and build trust with a novel model that helps navigate challenging procedures and consultations. It contains many simple, evidence-based techniques for managing pain and anxiety during medical and dental procedures, allowing procedures to unfold more easily for all.

Q: What is unique about this book?

A: The ebook (which is included with each print copy) comes with links to more than 70 short videos demonstrating meditations and other mind-training practices, communication skills, and interventions for procedural pain and anxiety.

Q: How is this book different from books already addressing the subject of mindfulness?

A: Despite the many well-documented benefits of mindfulness practices to HCPs and patients, mindfulness has not gained much traction in health care. I believe this is due to two factors: the high rate of trauma and the time constraints of HCPs. This book offers trauma-sensitive mindfulness instruction, and the practices are simplified for the busy HCP.

Q: How is this book different from other books on communication?

A: There are already many communication models for health care, but they are designed for the consultation. Yet, communication during procedures—especially those that evoke pain and anxiety for patients—is even more important. This book offers a novel communication model that addresses the needs of patients during medical/dental consults and procedures, including procedures in which patients can’t talk!

Q: Which types of health care practitioners would benefit from the content this book addresses?

A: Trainees can learn their patient-centered skills from the start by reading the evidence presented in this book and observing those skills demonstrated in the many videos.  Educators will find many exercises, experiments, reflection questions, and worksheets that they can use to guide their classroom instruction. Seasoned clinicians have reported that this book affirms their struggles and contains meaningful tools to handle those struggles.

Q: What are the top 3 things you would like readers to take away from the book?
A:My mission is to equip HCPs with everything they need to be successful beyond the technical aspects of their work. This starts with a body of essential mind-training practices for their mental health and their ability to be present for others. It includes the communication skills they need to navigate both consults and procedures. Finally, it includes a toolbox of evidence-based techniques for managing patient anxiety and pain during medical and dental procedures to make it safer and easier for all!