Archive June 2019 XX, No. 6

Ideas That Work: Unwind and Destress

The Ultimate Staff Relaxation Room

Community Hospital Anderson
QUIET OASIS A massage chair is the centerpiece of the relaxation room that the OR staff at Community Hospital Anderson (Ind.) requested and helped design. Staff sign up to use the relaxation room on a dry erase board that hangs on the wall outside.

A few months ago, my staff came to me with a rather odd request. They wanted to convert an empty room off of the surgery area into a relaxation room, a mini-retreat where they could sink into a massage chair, listen to music and breathe in essential oils during their lunch or break times. Their idea was that 1 staffer at a time would sign up for a 15-minute private slot on the whiteboard outside the 10x10 room.

We agreed, and let staff design the space, which had once served as our lithotripsy waiting room. They chose darkening curtains and blinds for the window, a curtain to cover the elevator door, and a couple floral prints and a neutral paint color for the walls. They pitched in for a shelf, an aromatherapy diffuser, a medicine ball, a few free weights and an exercise mat. The hospital foundation graciously donated the massage chair, which cost a couple thousand dollars.

At first, I thought it was the craziest thing ever, but as a leader, you have to understand what makes your staff tick, especially millennials, who want to work hard but also want to have a say in their workplace environment. We have but one rule: Use the relaxation room responsibly and always put patients first. So far, so good.

Lisa Noble, MSN, RN
Community Hospital Anderson
Anderson, Ind.

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