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Sisters Hospital creates a safe space for medical professionals to escape work-related stress

The new space is for medical professionals to utilize in their time of need.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Sisters of Charity Hospital is taking an extra step to help their medical professionals have a space to step away and relax. 

What started as an idea a few years ago, finally became executed a few weeks ago. It's not the first time a hospital has seen rooms like these, but it's the first for Sisters Hospital.

"Wow. If we could start with one room, maybe we could move forward with more. It's noisy on the unit. I'll admit. There is staff talking. So to have place to just chill and come back. Have some time to reflex is a great space," said Laurie Laugeman, an RN with Sisters Hospital.

This space is not like any other room in the hospital, there are no hospital beds or blood pressure monitors, because here, you don't come for just physical health. This room is also for mental health, its purpose is self care.

"If you had a patient that was really upset with you or was confused or may have acted inappropriately. You can just walk away from the situation and come here and deescalate," said Jennifer Simon, a nursing supervisor with Sisters Hospital.

They call it 'Zen Den.'

"I think with the pandemic which has brought so much different needs, for the staff, for the patients. Everything we've been through. We could really utilize this space in every way shape of form and I don't believe that we know that we are going to need, until we need it," Simon said.

This space can be used any time of day. It's open 24 hours.

"We may even be telling our colleagues. 'Hey. You need to get to Zen Den.' Just to help them with their self care," Laugeman said.

They are hoping it does make an impact with their staff.

"So, we created this little graphics here that they can write down how they feel before they come in the room and then sit in the room, and then when you are finish using the room, write down how you feel. We are hoping we can collect informal data to show that when people come in the room, they are a little stress and when they leave they will feel much better," Laugeman said.

The $3,000 project was funded by the Holistic Nurse Association.

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