Hospitals everywhere are feeling the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic. For the staff in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), the usual stress of the job is compounded by new COVID-19 protocols. In order to relieve some of that stress, Random Acts supporter Nicole Wanzer-Serrano arranged an ambitious project to create a Wellness Room for NICU staff.
Creating an Oasis
Nicole’s inspiration for this act of kindness came from her experience in the NICU when her son was born. He was premature and underweight and required extensive care, including two surgeries. Nicole said that “during the challenging times, one of our neonatologists told us that for our son to survive, we needed hundreds of people to make thousands of right decisions.” Thankfully, her son is now happy and healthy! To repay the people who saved her son’s life, she decided to provide them with a Wellness Room.
The Wellness Room is a place for NICU staff to recharge, get a drink, and relax. As Nicole explains, “Because of all of the PPE they have to wear, the dedicated staff Wellness Room is one of the few places with clean, open space for them to be able to remove enough PPE to have a quick cup of coffee during their 12-hour shifts.” Working closely with the Nurse Manager, Nicole determined which items were most needed. Using funds provided by our lovely donors, she was able to purchase a coffee maker, an electric kettle, a sound system to play relaxing music, a massage chair, a meditation cushion, yoga mats, flameless candles and a wall decal for ambiance, and an assortment of coffees and teas. The end result was a peaceful oasis for NICU staff. After the supplies were delivered, Nicole received a heartfelt thank you note from the unit, which said, “We can provide world class healthcare, but your generosity far surpasses any of the technology and medicine that we have to offer. That simple gift of kindness is truly the magic in it all.”
How to Help Healthcare Workers
If you were moved by Nicole’s act of kindness, think about the ways that you can help healthcare workers. Before starting on your kindness project, check with your local hospital, nursing home, or medical facility for instructions and most-needed items! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Make masks! Check with your local medical facility about their current personal protective equipment needs.
- Deliver meals or snacks! Call ahead to make sure your delivery can be received.
- Stay healthy and stay home! Take some pressure off of your local healthcare workers by continuing to physically distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask when you go out.