A newly designated Quiet Room greets you with “This is My Happy Place” art, a lounge chair and a variety of relaxation tools. Outside, it’s another busy day of patient care and therapy at the hospital, but inside the Quiet Room, the focus is on the employee.
“This is a space where employees can go off-stage and rejuvenate,” said Sarah Porter, a Physical Therapist who developed the idea with former Renown Rehab patient Carolyn Bernard during a walk. Bernard wanted to make a donation to the hospital that would enhance the day-to-day experience for employees.
“What these people are doing is amazing, day in and day out” said Bernard, who funded the room through the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation. “And they’re smiling while they do it.”
Porter and Bernard discussed how a Quiet Room would benefit employees and what items could be available to aid in relaxation, reflection or mindfulness practices. Porter also reviewed some studies that showed how these spaces improve job satisfaction, employee retention and employees’ ability to provide patient care. When she presented the idea to Rehabilitation Hospital Administrator Chris Nicholas, he was all in.
“The purpose of this room is to take care of our staff,” he said. “It’s a pretty innovative thing that we are doing.”
The team identified a storage room at the hospital that could be repurposed. With a few months’ work on some paint, carpeting and lighting, the space was ready to be stocked. Items available for employees include yoga mats, stretching tools, a weighted blanket, coloring books, journals, a CD player with mindfulness CD, stress balls and a Theracane massager.
While in the room, employees are asked to refrain from talking, eating, texting and using a phone or computer for purposes aside from listening to music.
The room was unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 30. Employees at the hospital took a break from their work to drop by and look at the new space.
“I feel both proud and blessed to work for an organization that demonstrates in tangible ways how much it cares about its employees,” said Porter. “I hope this project encourages people to continue to ask themselves: ‘What can I do to make this thing I care about just a little better?'”
Here are some more photos from the opening of the Quiet Room.