Hospitals offer creative, spiritual respite to reduce employee burnout

Doc burnout

Burnout is a major issue among doctors and others working in the healthcare field, and hospital leaders are taking numerous steps to improve working conditions and reduce the risk.

For example, leaders at Minneapolis’ Hennepin County Medical Center have created a “reset room” where staff can recharge with quiet breaks or even quick napsaccording to an article from STAT.  It features LED lights, a sound machine, flameless candles and other amenities for employees at the Level 1 trauma center.

“There is nowhere to go in a hospital to just stop for a minute before you go back to your typical 12- or 14-hour day,” Mark Linzer, director of the office of professional work-life at Hennepin, told the publication. “The idea really is just to sit.” 

Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center has taken a different approach to the same problem, creating a “prayer labyrinth” employees can visit to deal with the grief and stress that come with the job. The hospital also offers expansive gardens and outdoor spaces for when the campus’ 85 buildings make staff feel constrained, Wellness Officer William Baun told STAT.

The District of Columbia’s MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, meanwhile, maintains an arts and humanities program to give its employees a creative outlet, from dancing to creative writing to listening to live music, according to Program Director Julia Langley. The hospital also offers staff stretching sessions led by yoga teachers and dancers, an option Langley says has proved especially attractive to nursing staff, whose jobs involve continuous movement and lifting, which in many cases has proven physically hazardous.