Table 2

Themes, subthemes and illustrative quotes

ThemeSubthemeIllustrative quotes
Work pressure and perceived stress“Burnout is high and stress levels are very high, especially in the ED.”
“It is stressful, it is tough and you are short-staffed and nights can be pretty taxing.”
“We are in an environment that is highly stressed, it is constant, it is traumas, it is just constantly switched on.”
“We have to do something down there in terms of wellbeing.”
“There has to be an intervention because, as I say, it will just have grave effects I think on people’s health.”
“You cannot keep running at this sort of pace constantly, it’s just not doable.”
Perceived benefits of meditationIncreased awareness and attention“I think it does enable you to kind of just see things from a different angle maybe.”
“It’s definitely made me more mindful (…) more aware of my surroundings.”
“It just kind of settles you and kind of focuses you maybe a little bit more, you’re a little bit clearer in what you need to [do]…”
“It focused me on I suppose my key objectives for the day and what I had to get done.”
“I have actually pulled back a bit from being tremendously busy, like trying to be busy all the time.”
Improved emotion regulation and new coping mechanisms“I think my coping mechanisms at work are a lot better.”
“People can come up to you and they can be quite forthright in whatever they say and it is literally just say the word and then just to yourself and deep breath and then you go, ‘OK, let’s deal with this now’, instead of getting all tensed up and angry with somebody who is blaming you for something that is not your fault basically.”
“Instead of leaping in there, I just take a breath and step away. You know nothing major I am talking about just general home stuff, kids and husbands.”
“you wouldn’t let the small things bother you as much because you kind of take a step back and think, ‘Well, no.’”
“I think my patience is definitely a lot better than it was.”
“I would definitely say I am a calmer person.”
Relaxation and sleep quality“You sleep an awful lot better, just more relaxed and you’re not kind of wound up.”
“It is a great opportunity to help you sleep and maybe that is where it should work.”
“I feel way better in myself. My sleep has improved.”
“I’d kind of intermittently sleep good and sleep not so good but I have been sleeping fine since this.”
Conflicting attitudes to practice“I just personally wish I was better at doing it by now…”
“You’d nearly feel guilty about having this time to yourself just thinking about doing nothing you know.”
“If I could convince myself that I am entitled to this me time instead of having to do something else, then that is where I think it works better.”
Barriers to practiceRole/Occupation (shift work, changing schedules)“If you are in a senior role on the floor you kind of can’t really leave the department (to meditate) because if something kicks off you have to be there to respond.”
“Because of my role, I’d say it was, just from personal experience, it was harder to adjust because it’s not a kind of a uniformed shift pattern so it could be 8am to 6pm one day, 4pm to midnight the next day, and then 8am to 6pm, you know…and then when you get home after such a busy day unless you set an alarm or something like that, you’d be asleep before you’d go, ‘Christ, meditate!’”
“Doing this amongst ED staff is probably the hardest group of people to do it with.”
Length of practice“I think that going from never experiencing it into jumping straight in, 20 min twice a day I found that quite hard.”
“The shorter time would make it a lot more viable in the department I would think.”
Individual differences“I would be a doer, go, go, go and a lot of people in the department would be kind of the same that kind of temperament. So then when you have to sit down and sit still and think about things or not think about anything, I found it really hard to switch off.”
“I think you have to the right personality as well, like, you know, it is not something that, if meditation worked for one person, it mightn’t necessarily work for the next person.”
Facilitators to practiceOrganisational support“I personally think it needs to be part of our paid working day to really promote it to be best practice.”
“It’s all down to staffing – if you had enough staff you could do protected time and you’d say, ‘Okay we’re doing a meditation, a group meditation for 20 min upstairs or 10 min upstairs. Go on up.’”
“I think if it was incorporated as part of our day so I think if there was an extra 15 min each side of each shift incorporated for meditation.”
Interpersonal support“I found actually doing it in the group was a lot easier than doing it on my own.”
“Since the programme has ended, I have kind of lost the focus again with the meditation and I just wonder if there was another workshop would it kind of refocus you.”
“I just think we need to kind of get together perhaps as a group and set up something by ourselves or take the lead on it by ourselves otherwise it will fall, like it will fall apart.”