Feb 18, 2020
NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens today announced its new employee wellness room. The new wellness room is designed to provide a quiet place for hospital employees to recharge, de-stress, heal, and to emphasize the importance of taking a break and taking care of themselves during the workday. The 350-square-foot room will be a space for health coaching, aromatherapy, yoga, and meditation. In 2019, NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens allocated discretionary funds to create and design the space. This new model of employee wellness showcases increased effort for a healthy workforce at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens.
“Healthcare workers perform at their best when they are taking good care of themselves,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens CEO Chris Roker. “The introduction of a wellness room enables our staff to take a much-needed break when necessary, engage in therapeutic activities, and step away from pressing issues so they can reassess, regroup, and gain a sense of perspective. Having this outlet available to them builds morale, reinforces the idea of an employee family, and improves overall patient care.”
“The wellness room is intended to be a place for employees to come to and relax,” said, Katiuscia Gray, Certified Yoga Instructor and Social Work Supervisor, NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens Cancer Center. “Employees will learn about the importance of taking care of themselves through mindfulness, meditation, yoga exercises, aromatherapy, nutrition and self-care.”
The wellness room is painted bright orange and offset by dim lighting and soft, meditative music. The small intimate room is large enough for 10 people. The space will also feature guest speakers on a variety of topics from mental health to nutritious eating, and is well-equipped with meditative chairs, yoga mats, eye masks, and meditative blankets. Fifteen-minute breaks will be made available to staff to utilize the wellness room.
Helping staff care for themselves represents a growing challenge in hospital settings. Burnout, or physical and emotional exhaustion brought on by work-related stress, is common in the healthcare field. NYC Health + Hospitals continues to implement new initiatives to address employees experiencing workplace stress and burnout through access to additional resources for emotional support. This past April, the public healthcare system launched a peer-led employee wellness program, called Helping Healers Heal, which was specifically designed to assist workers who are considered “second victims” of traumatic patient care events. The program is available to all NYC Health + Hospitals employees at all patient care sites, and includes specially trained teams to offer peer-to-peer support, mental health expertise, and team-debriefing sessions after traumatic events, especially in emergency departments, mental health units and pediatric intensive care units.