"Lavender rooms” created at UVA Health to help nurses during COVID-19 crisis

Updated: Apr. 27, 2020 at 4:31 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Nurses and those on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis are in a high stress environment at work. Now, the University of Virginia Health System has a place where nurses can decompress and stay resilient during the pandemic.

The lavender rooms were created at UVA thanks to post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurse Nancy Farish, for any nurses who may be in an emotional crisis. “Code Lavender” may mean a nurse is starting to experience compassion fatigue. That refers to a time when caregivers feel especially burned out from their work.

Nurses can take time during their day to go to the room, that has tools to help them relax and remain resilient. Inside, they have access to aromatherapy, guided meditation, and most importantly, according to Farish, a private place to reflect or relax.

“Once you close that door, not just physically, but you really have that time where you know that somebody’s not gonna come knock and say, ‘I’m gonna need you for X, Y, and Z'” said Farish.

The rooms also have guided meditation exercises in them, and available as QR codes, in order to help nurses who need help in the moment.

Farish says the health system plans to expand the lavender rooms to more units, including outpatient surgery, in the near future.

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