New Meditation Room at Hillman Cancer Center a Calming Space for Staff

By: Jennifer C. Yates

2hillman2The staff at the Hillman Cancer Center can relax in a room of their own thanks to a generous grant from the Shadyside Hospital Foundation.

UPMC CancerCenter leaders cut the ribbon Tuesday on the 3rd floor room, which includes a zero gravity massage recliner, soft lighting, faux wooden floors and even adult coloring books, among other amenities designed to help nurses and staff find calm amid what can often be a hurried and emotionally heavy job. A quote on the wall from Mahatma Gandhi reads, “Take care of this moment.”

“We know what we do every day is the heart and soul of Hillman,” said Susan Gibson, R.N., senior director of Hillman Cancer Center. “So with the generosity of the foundation, we asked the staff what they wanted in a relaxing space and this room is the result.”

In all, the foundation donated $10,000 as part of a Nurse Resiliency and Compassion Fatigue program, which Hillman officials used partly for a national speaker who came to talk with staff and also for the creation of the meditation room.

Staff will be able to sign out a key and use the room for a designated period of time. Other amenities inside include yoga mats, relaxation music and aromatherapy. The room is modeled after a similar space at UPMC Shadyside for staff in the intensive care unit.

“Working in healthcare can be very stressful. But we are better able to care for our patients when we also take care of ourselves. This comfortable space allows our nurses, staff, and even doctors to do just that,” said Stanley Marks, M.D., chairman, UPMC CancerCenter, partner with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

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