Enhancing Emotional Strength of Professional Nurses: Buddhist Principles and Model
- Sanu Mahatthanadull, Buddhist Studies (International Program), International Buddhist Studies College (IBSC), Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand, email@example.com
- Orachorn Kraichak, Buddhist Studies Program, Graduate School Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand
This article is part of mixed-method research that aims to examine the emotional strength of professional nurses, propose Buddhist principles and models for enhancing the emotional strength of professional nurses, and develop a Buddhist model for enhancing the emotional strength of professional nurses. The population Group No.1 was a control group consisting of 50 professional nurses from Samrong Medical Hospital and Samut Sakhon Hospital. While Group No.2 refers to an experimental group consisting of 18 professional nurses from Samut Sakhon Hospital who voluntarily enrolled in the classroom “Joyful Nursing Classroom” whereas the Buddhist principle of the 4 Bhāvanās was mainly applied in the classroom. The 6 professional nursing specialists, Buddhist experts, and social experts were also interviewed for content analysis. The results showed that emotional intelligence in Buddhism relies on the concepts and methods of balance, which include the Middle Path, Right Understanding (Sammādiṭṭhi), and Right Thought (Sammāsaṅkappa), to allow a person to be aware and understand his or her own emotions. For a nurse to perform at the professional standard level, emotional intelligence also requires mindfulness and awareness. A Buddhist model for strengthening the emotional intelligence of nursing professionals was developed from the concept of the Fourfold Development (bhāvanā) and applied in a workshop design. The model and the workshop format were evaluated by experts and then used with two nursing populations. The model demonstrated 4 ways to strengthen emotional intelligence among the nursing professionals: 1) self-reflection, 2) development of emotional strength and positive thinking, 3) increase of mental power through meditation, and 4) learning of “caring & sharing” concept and letting go, which was central to the model. The workshops resulted in a positive change in the mood and emotions of the nursing professionals, especially in terms of behaviors, communication, and reasoning.
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