August 01, 2008 | | Comments 8
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No crisis zone!

Do you have a small space from which you can create a relaxing nook for your staff? It may be just a corner of your break room or one end of your locker room. Designate that space as your unit’s relaxing nook.You could even make up a catchy name for it:

No Crisis Zone! Radiology Rejuvination Area! My Space!

Don’t allow phone calls in the space. Ask staff if anyone has an old lazy-boy recliner they’d donate. Also, see if anyone has a magazine rack they’d like to donate. Have staff bring in magazines after they’ve read them. Or inspiring, pick-me-up books that can be read quickly, like the Chicken Soup series.

How about a poster or two for the space? A lamp? A couple of throw pillows? A CD player with earphones? A tabletop battery operated rippling water fountain? A kitchen timer so no one accidently goes over their allotted break time?

We all know we’re more productive when we take a few moments to re-group, yet so often we run from crisis to crisis and never take that opportunity. Think of our staffs, and the number of crises they manage daily. Would they benefit from a small nook designated entirely to replenishing their soul for a few moments? Would our patients benefit?

“It appears that the techniques which have the greatest motivational impact are practiced the least, even though they are easier and less expensive to use.”
– Dr. Gerald Graham, distinguished Professor of Management; Wichita State University

Entry Information

Filed Under: Retention


Bonnie Clair About the Author: Bonnie Clair, MSN, RN currently works as Retention Project Manager at CoxHealth in Springfield, MO. Her clinical background includes nursing management, nursing education administration and neonatal flight team. Her bedside nursing experience is comprised of Med Surg, NeuroScience and 15 years in the NICU. She has facilitated development and implementation of a clinical ladder for staff RNs and worked on a steering committee to implement Shared Governance in her health system. Other recent projects include designating parking spaces close to the hospital for pregnant staff and organizing a bi-monthly reunion event for employees reaching their 90th day of employment. She is passionate about nurse retention and relevant nursing education. You may contact her at

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  1. I am really enjoying the retention tips being posted here – as a manager, I am always on the lookout for quick, low-cost ideas to help in this area.

  2. Wonderful idea to dedicate a space for staff to relax and take a
    break during thier busy day! We all need a calm and relaxing
    area so we can refocus and revuenate. I would suggest adding
    a yoga mat for yoga poses.

  3. I agree as well. The staff need an area where they can get away from the constant beepers, telephone calls, and requests. Just a few minutes in
    this area would allow the staff members to assess their priorities and it would also help to decrease their stress.

  4. I think the relaxation area sounds great! – now if we can just get away to enjoy it!!!! Anything that we can do to encourage retention is great – we ned to encourage each other and be there for each other too!!

  5. just remember to keep the items cleanable or your relaxation
    corner will become a haven for MRSA and other pathogens!

  6. We did this in the last facility that I worked in the ER. IT WAS GREAT! complete with a small sound machine (babbling brook, waves, rain, etc), plants and NO PHONE. 5 minutes made all the difference in a 12 hour shift.

  7. Wonderful idea and it does work. However, you must be able to “relieve” your staff so they can enjoy the feature. I assigned staff (initially) and
    watched their patients while they relaxed. Soon, they learned to assign one another and enjoy the experience. A fish tank is also nice as well as
    aroma therapy.

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