CLAREMORE, Okla. — A local hospital is going above and beyond to make sure its nursing staff feels loved during the pandemic.
Hillcrest Hospital in Claremore has created a relaxation station for its medical staff to rest and unwind during a stressful, shift.
Jess has been a nurse at Hillcrest for three years, and two of those years have been spent painstakingly caring for COVID patients.
“In the beginning, it was scary! We didn’t know if we were going to get it, we didn’t know how to treat it, and it took a while to get into a routine. I would say it’s less scary now, but still very stressful," Jess says.
She says she was thrilled when the hospital opened a relaxation room.
“There's a massage chair, there’s a reclining chair, essential oils, you might see some of my favorite things that people have added, inspirations. Just time to relax and reflect on the positives," she says.
Affectionately called the relaxation station, nurses like Jess can take a few moments during their busy shift and unwind.
The idea for the space came from nurse, India Jackson.
“They just needed a place to go to decompress and breath and get their bearings back together and go back and take care of the patients and give them the best care possible," says Jackson.
The goal is to create a calming, environment that features everything from a massage chair to yoga mats and a positive message wall.
Along with the chair and essential oils, the room also has stress balls, inspirational quotes and even yoga poses.
Chief Nursing Officer and COO, Dava Baldridge says this room couldn't have come at a better time.
"Our staff are working extra shifts. They are working 4 or 5 shifts extra a week. They are tired and there is no staff to help. They worry…are they taking something home to their family when they leave here and so they are very cautious about that, and they make sure they are wearing the right mask and their PPE," says Baldridge.
And while they deal with low staffing, sick patients, and no end in sight, at least they have a safe space to come and meditate and just breath, even if only for a moment.
Of the Hillcrest locations, Bailey Medical Center and Hillcrest South also have relations rooms and Hillcrest Medical Center is in the process of adding one as well.
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