HIMSS Commends Nurses’ Ability to Balance Mind, Body and Spirit

National Nurses Week calls attention to contributions of these invaluable health professionals

CHICAGO (April 26, 2017) - In recognition of National Nurses Week, May 6-12, HIMSS will celebrate the contributions of these invaluable healthcare team members through various events and activities, including complimentary webinars, blog and social media communications, and continued involvement in nursing informatics professional development.

Most of all, however, HIMSS acknowledges the commitment required for nurses to meet the “balance of mind, body and spirit” – the theme of this year’s National Nurses Week, organized by the American Nurses Association.

Rebecca Freeman, PhD, RN, chief nursing officer for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, said having this skill set enables nurses to be “the very best versions of ourselves.” Freeman, who participates on the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee, said nurses have to be physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy while staying abreast of the latest clinical and practice knowledge. “Patients deserve our full attention, and it is difficult to provide optimal care if one of those three aspects of self is hurting. The healthier we are as people – as nurses – the better care we can provide to our patients,” she said.

To help nurses achieve a balance of mind, body and spirit, concepts such as mindfulness and emotional intelligence are increasingly discussed and encouraged in the health care workplace. Joyce Sensmeier, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, HIMSS vice president of informatics, recently tweeted a link to an article written by Travis Bradberry, president, TalentSmart.

The article explains how the four core skills associated with emotional intelligence – self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship management – provide the foundation for a critical skill set for today’s workplace.

Sensmeier said a balance of mind, body and spirit cultivates emotional intelligence. She said nurse informaticists have been successful in leveraging health IT for patient care not only through their strong technical expertise, but through empathy and mindfulness as well – by considering the high demands placed upon nurses and other clinicians. “Today, the link between health IT and care delivery is so strong that they are intertwined. Health IT is an integral part of documenting, informing, and delivering safe, high quality and efficient patient care,” she said.

Sandra Eppers, MBA, BSN, RN-BC, CPHIMS, a nurse informaticist who works in a cancer care setting, takes the role of the nurse informaticist one step further. “Our focus is not a server, or a piece of computer equipment. It’s the patient. What we do impacts them,” she explained.

Eppers, who also participates on the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee, said nurses have to be task- and relationship-oriented to succeed on the job, something that requires mind, body and spirit balance. She said nurses thrive when they are able to achieve this balance.

“In informatics roles, it's not unusual to be on the phone or on a webinar or conference call. There are times in my day when I think, ‘I’ve got to get up from my desk.’ So, I step away and do a walkthrough of the patient units – I'll round and connect with the clinicians. I need to have that relationship with the clinicians,” said Eppers. “In some instances, you also have the opportunity to interact with a patient. That enhances the depth, dimension, and builds the relationships that you need to do your job well.”

Freeman said nurses are very task-oriented because, frequently, the accomplishment of tasks is how they are measured in terms of performance. “However, I firmly believe that teamwork and relationships are the key drivers of success for any metrics. If you want to have a top-notch staff on your unit, they have to build relationships with each other and work together. If you want the best possible outcomes for your patient, you will achieve those by building trust and working as a team.”

Sensmeier said achieving these good outcomes often depends on nurses having mind, body and spirit balance and emotional intelligence. “HIMSS commends the American Nursing Association and the many other organizations participating in National Nurses Week for calling attention to these issues and for advocating on behalf of these indispensible health care professionals.”

About HIMSS North America 
HIMSS North America, a business unit within HIMSS, positively transforms health and healthcare through the best use of information technology in the United States and Canada. As a cause-based non-profit, HIMSS North America provides thought leadership, community building, professional development, public policy, and events. HIMSS North America represents 64,000 individual members, 640 corporate members, and over 450 non-profit organizations. Thousands of volunteers work with HIMSS to improve the quality, cost-effectiveness, access, and value of healthcare through IT. Major initiatives within HIMSS North America include the HIMSS Annual Conference & ExhibitionNational Health IT WeekHIMSS Innovation CenterHIMSS Interoperability Showcases™HIMSS Health IT Value Suite, and ConCert by HIMSS™.

Media contact

Joyce Lofstrom/HIMSS
(312) 915-9237