EmployeesFeaturedTop StoryWellness

A moment of self-care on wheels

A pandemic-era practice continues to lift spirits at Asante hospitals.
Wellness cart
Nurse leaders at AACH rounded with the cart.

The idea came in 2022 when the pandemic was still a challenging force in our hospitals. How could Asante show appreciation and bring some lighthearted care to our hospital staff?

The result was the wellness cart, a rolling table of treats, activities and self-help resources that is deployed wherever it’s needed at all three Asante hospitals.

If a critical incident leaves staff members shaken, or just as a gesture of appreciation, leaders can grab the cart to round with, or simply park it in a unit for employees to enjoy.

Staff can enjoy candy, fruit, bottled water or a protein bar while getting printed tips on breathing exercises. The reaction from staff members has surprised even the creators.

“Sheer joy, laughter and gratitude,” said Jennifer Nidalmia, Asante Resiliency Program coordinator whose work spans the spectrum of Asante’s employee wellbeing initiatives. “For something so simple, the joy creates a ripple effect.”

wellness cart
Along with water and treats, the cart carries wellbeing exercises.

The cart is a convergence of work done by employees involved in the trauma-informed care Sanctuary model, the Asante Resiliency Program and the Asante Wellbeing Program — all created in recognition that caregivers need care too. Asante Foundation provided some of the funding for the items.

Organizers say the cart isn’t intended to be a balm for broader system issues that contribute to job stress. Instead, it’s a simple way acknowledge employee wellbeing and to encourage staff to tend to themselves and each other.

“The idea is to round with it so there’s the human connection,” Nidalmia said. “We’re having conversations about who we want to be and what kind of culture we have.”

Leaders can check out the cart at ARRMC’s Nursing Professional Development office, ATRMC’s Pathway to Excellence coordinator office and the administration office at AACH.

To learn more, contact we*******@as****.org.

Tags: Sanctuary model, trauma-informed care, Wellbeing, wellness cart
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