Source: The News-Enterprise
To help boost the physical, emotional and mental well-being of staff, Baptist Health Hardin has installed four recharge rooms throughout the hospital.
The rooms offer a tranquil spot for staff to step away and recharge.
Tom Carrico, Baptist Health Hardin vice president and chief operating officer, said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on health care workers.
Along with taking care of the physical and emotional needs of the patients, Carrico said the staff is “becoming extensions of the families who cannot be with these patients during their most critical time of need.”
“That has weighed heavily on them and that additional burden that has been laid on them unfortunately as a result of this pandemic has played out to the extent that if we didn’t provide some temporary version of relief, we could be losing more of these critical staff members because they just can’t manage that level of trauma and sustain it for 12-14 hours a day, every day,” he said.
The idea for the rooms came from Melanie Whitlock, director of respiratory care; Jamie Wilkerson, director of critical care; and Intensive Care Unit Manager Nathan Ernst and unanimously was approved by the Baptist Health Hardin senior leadership team.
“We shared a common concern for our team members,” Whitlock said. “No matter what hospital you’re in, fighting this virus, health care workers are having some toll on mental health.”
Ernst said they had great concern and wanted to make sure they were addressing employees’ mental and emotional needs.
“We knew early on from what was going on … that this was very challenging for employees,” he said.
The rooms were created through renovating and repurposing at an estimated cost of $30,000. Carrico said they released an email to staff members last week informing them of the rooms’ availability.
The rooms feature recliners, calming music/sounds, aroma therapy, and more.
Eventually, Carrico said they would like to add a couple additional areas for the emergency department. He said he’s also interested in potentially placing professional grade massage chairs in the recharge rooms.
If residents would like to contribute to the rooms, the Hardin Memorial Health Foundation is taking donations or go to ourhmh.org/online-donations.
People who already have donated to the HMH Foundation and designated their gift to the recharge rooms include Baptist Health Auxiliary Hardin, Clagett Photography, Dana and Mike Bowers, Jenny and Dennis Oldham, and Allison and Dennis Willoughby