You've seen a break room before, but have you ever heard of a wobble room? There's a special place inside a B.C. hospital where emergency staff can vent or have a moment to themselves. Narcity spoke with staff at Vancouver General Hospital to learn more about the new space and what it's like inside.
"We work in a really chaotic environment, and so even a space that’s quiet and a bit separate... can be a bit of a break to take a moment," said Lara Gurney.
She and Lori Quinn are UBC alumni who work together at VGH with Julie Lockington, a co-creator and facilitator of The Wobble Room.
Gurney described it as a "fairly quiet, light, bright space" with an essential oil diffuser. Anyone who works at the emergency department from cleaning staff and physicians to nurses is welcome to use it.
Lockington said that they heard about the concept being used in a British clinic and loved it. "We felt like the least we could do would be to set aside a space and then it’s gathered momentum from there."
Any time staff begin feeling "emotionally wobbly," they can take a breather in the room. They can yell, cry, take a minute to breathe — whatever they need.
Staff do group check-ins via Zoom with a counsellor twice a week and they can reach out to them individually for support, too.
Inspiring work by Lara Gurney, Julie Lockington and their colleagues in the VGH Emergency Department. Learn what… https://t.co/r40YJzkb4u— Vancouver Coastal Health (@Vancouver Coastal Health)1591650603.0
An emergency department can be an extremely stressful place to work, especially during a pandemic.
As a group, this Vancouver hospital has created a proactive approach to wellness in the workplace.
"We check in with staff all the time to make them aware that this area is available for you 24/7," said Gurney.
Quinn said that the wobble room is "more about coming, sharing that experience with your colleagues, knowing that we’re in this together and knowing that you’re not alone."
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or mental health concerns, please reach out to a trusted peer, parent or health care professional. You can also contact a helpline which is available 24 hours a day to talk. Or click here, for additional resources.
If you need immediate assistance please call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital.
Support is available.