By Heather Hogan, BSN, RN, Santina Wilson, BSN, RN, PCCN, HN-BC, and Mary Absi, MSN, RN, of Shapiro 8

 

Deborah Blaisdell, RN, receives a Reiki treatment from Integrative Services volunteer Valerie Gaines.

As human beings, every one of us needs to be cared for, and nurses are no exception. It’s especially important for those in the caring professions to focus on healing the mind, body and soul so that they are able to provide optimal care for patients.

On Shapiro 8, our nurse director, Alice O’Brien, MS, RN, has been instrumental in promoting a healthy work environment for nurses. With her support, we developed a Caritas Space for staff to use on their own time. This room includes various self-care relaxation tools, including arm, neck, back and foot massagers, as well as relaxing music, a journaling book, holistic nursing magazines and positive affirmation cards.

We have also been able to incorporate several health fairs to provide hands on therapies for nurses. The health fairs are a time for relaxation; staff can enjoy a serene environment off the floor to decompress and unwind.

Our most recent health fair on Sept. 18 was funded by a microgrant we received through the Brigham Research Institute for our research on stress reduction for nurses. Staff enjoyed the many offerings, including chair massages, reflexology treatments, Reiki, Tea for the Soul and relaxing music. The fair also fostered team-building and strengthening by providing an opportunity for day, evening and night shift staff to come together and reconnect on a more personal level. This allowed us to enhance our human connection with one another. In our busy workday, it’s often difficult to find the time to engage with our colleagues.

Having time to renew, recharge and rejuvenate helps nurses return to the floors ready to deliver compassionate care.