HCD 2022 Conference Preview: Impact on Staff Wellbeing, Retention by Design

The Healthcare Design Conference + Expo 2022 will be held October 8-11 in San Antonio. The annual event will offer a variety of lectures and breakout sessions on a range of topics.

healthcare design previews some of the upcoming educational sessions in a Q&A series with speakers, sharing what they plan to discuss and key takeaways they plan to offer attendees.

Session: “I can’t work another minute: a study of nursing resilience.”

Speakers: Jennifer Wilcynski, Senior Associate, Orcutt Winslow Partnership; Virginia Prendergast, senior director of advanced practice nursing and evidence-based research, St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center: Barrow Neurological Institute.

Research shows higher stress levels for our frontline healthcare workers due to the current pandemic, which in turn decreases staff satisfaction, increases staff burnout and thwarts resilience. How can the built environment better support these people in times of stress?

This presentation will review current research on the use of two types of resilience rooms, dedicated to helping nurses cope with work stress. This research aims to establish a link between staff satisfaction and retention and the institution of these rooms by expanding their use throughout the acute care hospital environment.

healthcare design: How has the conversation about resilience and healthcare workers changed in recent years?

Jennifer Wilcynski: Health systems know that their most valuable assets are the people who provide patient care. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on our frontline healthcare workers, their working conditions and their work-related stress. Their mental health and resilience in the face of this adversity have become a priority.

How do resilience rooms help nurses cope with work stress?

A resilience room allows for a short private break to decompress and deal with the difficulties of daily work in such a fast-paced and vigorous environment. The Resilience Room is a way to reduce staff burnout by providing a dedicated reflective space to deal with what has happened or is happening to them personally throughout their shift.

What does recent data tell us about the impact of a short break in these rooms on staff well-being and satisfaction?

Overwhelmingly, the data shows us that these resilience rooms do what was intended: they reduce stress in the moment.

We now have access to data on how the addition of these spaces contributes to a nurse’s overall satisfaction with her employer and her willingness to stay at work.

What’s one takeaway from your session that you hope attendees go back to?

We hope to illustrate that while space is always a concern, there is a real need to find dedicated places for staff to prioritize a mental break. The addition of a resilience room positively affects the work of nurses and therefore the patient experience and facility outcomes. All in all a win-win!

For more information on the schedule and registration for the HCD conference, visit hcdexpo.com.