A place for RNs in need of a little R&R

(NewsWorks.org) Burnout is a serious issue among health-care providers, whose jobs are often physically and emotionally taxing.  A year ago, the “Center for Nursing Renewal” opened its door at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. It’s an oasis where nurses and other staff members can unwind and recharge.

The center is located at Penn Tower, a dash away from the busy hospital floors. Jean Romano, clinical director for nursing operations at the hospital, is proud of the center and what it has to offer.

“This is a place for nurses to come, there’s a meditation room a relaxation room, we hold classes here, Zumba and yoga classes,” she says.

The relaxation room is the most popular, according to Romano. It has three high-end massage chairs, a big digital screen features a slide show of beautiful and soothing nature photographs. Nurses take advantage of this calming space before or after their shifts, or during short breaks.

It’s become an important resource for orthopedic trauma nurse Roseann Jeffers. Wednesday night, after helping a man who was in a car accident that killed his wife, she came into his room to get an IV started, but ended up offering a sympathetic ear. This kind of interaction requires her to leaver her own emotions at the door.

“If I bring my outside self on the floor, I won’t be able to be there for him,” explained Jeffers, a mother of three who is pursuing a graduate degree in nursing. “If I bring my Roseann self to him, I would be crying along with him. He doesn’t need a nurse to be sitting there crying with him, he needs a nurse with strength, to help him along.”

She says coming to the center, which she does often, allows her to recharge and get ready for her next shift.

Staff nurse Karen Boglin loves the massage chairs in the relaxation room — she says providing this place to recuperate from a job that’s physically and emotionally demanding is sending a strong message to staff.

“Our bosses are aware of the challenges that we face, and it’s nice to be part of an organization that values you, and is basically saying, ‘I hear you.'”

Romano says the center is also popular with doctors and other staff members as well.

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