Source: The News-Enterprise
The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to take a toll on health care workers around the world and across the nation. The Baptist Health Hardin team is no exception.
To help boost the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of the staff, Baptist Health Hardin Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Carrico said the senior team unanimously agreed to create Recharge Rooms throughout the hospital.
The idea initially came from Director of Respiratory Care Melanie Whitlock and Director of Critical Care Jamie Wilkerson.
Carrico said the pandemic has taken an emotional, physical and mental toll on staff.
“In light of that, they wanted to do something that would really provide a temporary relief valve to these incredibly heroic caregivers who are going nonstop 12 to 14 hours every single day,” he said. “They’re giving everything they have to this organization, to these patients, providing top notch care.”
Carrico said they’ve designated recharge rooms spread out across the hospital as well as additional space that would further allow staff to take breaks. Four full-time rooms will continuously be available.
“Other than patients and families, our staff is our very highest priority,” he said. Carrico said it was important to provide them with something to help them get through the turbulence the continued pandemic is taking on everyone, “especially our frontline caregivers.”
In many cases, he said they also are serving in an augmented capacity to the patients as visitors currently are not allowed in the hospital because of the pandemic.
“So it has accelerated the amount, I think, of emotional, physical, mental health,” he said. “Finding an environment where they can recharge was a must have.”
Recharge Rooms will offer a tranquil environment for staff to step away, and recharge.
“The longer this pandemic has gone on, the more consistent we’re seeing the physical, emotional, spiritual and emotional fatigue is all setting in on caregivers,” Carrico said, noting this is just a way for them to help offset some of the stress.
The rooms are being created through renovating and repurposing, which is right now at a cost of around $30,000. Most of the rooms are expected to be available by the end of this week.
If residents would like to contribute to the rooms, the Hardin Memorial Health Foundation is taking donations to help create the rooms at the hospital to thank the staff for all they do and let them know they are not alone in their efforts.
People interested in making a donation can go to ourhmh.org/recharge.
“We have seen the community share an outpouring of love since the pandemic started,” Carrico said. “They’ve called our staff heroes and I echo that. Because they are heroes, they deserve the very best that we can give them. Our community has done a phenomenal job of asking what they can do for us and I really do believe that this is one of the best things that we can do for an overburdened, overwhelmed and I’ll say a very fatigued staff.”
Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.