AJN On the Cover
On this month's cover, nurses at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) practice mindfulness in the Thea and James Stoneman Healing Garden. According to Patricia Reid Ponte, chief nursing officer at the DFCI, the garden, which opened in 2011, was created with patient and staff input as an extension of DFCI's mission for delivering holistic care.
The large and accessible space, which is open to staff 24 hours a day, is popular as a place to engage in mindfulness practices. Patients, visitors, and staff of partner hospitals also have access to the garden from 6 AM until 8:30 PM daily, and nurses are encouraged to hold meetings and classes there.
The staff says the garden offers them healing and privacy—a respite from the ongoing busyness of the hospital. “It's big enough to always find space mentally and physically,” says Ponte, who makes it a practice to stop there often. Calling mindfulness both a process and an outcome—a practice centered on “remembering to pay attention with care and discernment to what is occurring in your immediate experience”—Ponte has used the garden to teach walking meditation as part of her eight-week multidisciplinary mindfulness initiative. To learn more about this pilot program that succeeded in bringing about increased provider–patient communication and decreased stress, see this month's Cultivating Quality article, “Cultivating Mindfulness to Enhance Nursing Practice.”—Amanda Anderson, BSN, RN, CCRN