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Taking Care of Patients and Staff

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Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 10:23 PM CST
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CODY, Wyo. (WYOMING NEWS NOW) - There’s no doubt that the pandemic has altered the way people work - and live - in health care facilities. So staff at Cody Regional Health are finding ways to keep people connected, and ease the strain.

This month, administrators opened two “respite rooms” for all staff members to utilize - one at West Park Hospital and one at the Cathcart Center in Cody. Both are equipped with massage chairs and stools, meditation zen gardens, snacks and positive messages. Barbara Mullaney,  Acute Care Director at Cody Regional Health, says these rooms provide a space where healthcare workers can practice self-care.

“It’s just a nice relaxing place just to take ten, fifteen minutes to get away from all the chaos that we live in in today’s world,” she points out, “and then we can go back and take care of our patients.”

Mullaney, along with Behavioral Health Director Steven Humphries-Wadsworth, submitted the grant request to the Cody Regional Health Foundation for financial support for this initiative, which Foundation and Patient Experience Director Annalea Avery says helps healthcare workers find a healthy balance between personal care and the demands of working in healthcare.

“They [Foundation Board members] understand the stresses that our employees are going through and they wanted to offer some sort of respite so that they can continue to provide excellent quality patient care for our patients and their families.”

“It’s open to all staff of Cody Regional Health, it’s not just nursing staff,” Mullaney adds. “It takes a team to take care of these patients.”

But the respite rooms weren’t the only changes that were made here at Cody Regional Health - organization leaders also wanted to provide a safe space for loved ones to visit with Long Term Care Center patients.

Avery supervised the construction of a “hugging booth” - which allows nursing home residents to stay connected with family and friends.

“Obviously it’s not ideal, it’s not the same as a real hug, but it is way better than visiting through glass.”

And she says the effort has made a difference. “I have witnessed it, and I cry every single time.”

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