Sometimes, people need a few minutes of quiet time.
Kimberly Michael, program director for Diagnostic Medical Sonography in the College of Allied Health Professions, learned about mindful pause practice last year at a conference she attended with Tanya Custer, an assistant professor in the Department of Medical Imaging and Therapeutic Sciences.
“We heard about some dental hygienist programs who were using mindful pause practice in their curriculum to help reduce their students’ stress, promote wellbeing and improve focus,” Michael said. “We decided to put into our curriculum this semester and next semester and give students three minutes at the beginning of class to calm down after rushing to class from clinics or driving in traffic across Omaha.”
Michael says the thirteen students in her class have embraced mindful pause practice. She admitted that once she forgot to include the mindful pause at the beginning of her PowerPoint presentation, and a student quickly reminded her.
UNMC is not the only sonography program adding mindful pause practice to its curriculum. The University of Nebraska Kearney, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Iowa and the University of Missouri are also adding a few minutes of quiet time to the beginning of some medical imaging classes.
Also to help students focus on meditation during the quiet time, Dr. Jonathon Sikorski spoke with students from the five schools last spring.
This past year, mindful pause practice was put into the curriculum. At the beginning of each specified class, students were given a few minutes where they could gain their focus, and increase their wellbeing.
Michael said another College of Allied Sciences program is considering mindful pause practice as well – the physician assistant program.
“Our goal is to make mindful pause practice part of our students’ daily routine so that after they leave here, they will still use it in the clinic setting and their daily lives. When they are with a patient, and they feel rushed, or they had a tough drive into work they can remember to take that short pause, and that will help them be a better practitioner,” Michael said.