• Good News to Share: French Hospital Medical Center Nurse Creates ‘Serenity Room’ to Offer Healing to Health Care Staff

    Respite room created in appreciation of staff for National Nurses Week 

    SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – May 7, 2020 –  Stephanie Walczuk, a French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) Telemetry Unit RN, created a ‘Serenity Room’ for fellow staff to provide a space of calm and relaxation during these considerably stressful times for health care employees. The tranquil space is filled with items from Stephanie’s own home, as well as from an outpouring of community donations, and will offer additional support to FHMC staff, aside from what chaplains and social workers already provide to employees.

    “After researching how I could help provide my amazing staff with additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic, I was led to create this space as a way for my colleagues to practice self-care and self-reflection during their breaks, says Walczuk. “By providing this space, I hope to offer a form of decompression to help improve their overall health and well-being, as well as foster resiliency, for those that visit the space. I know it is needed, and I am so happy I can help in providing this additional support to them.

    Stephanie spent weeks planning and preparing the room, as a special gift to her colleagues for the first day of National Nurses Week, which began Wednesday, May 6 and ends Tuesday, May 12. The serene space is quiet with low light, and includes greenery, aromatherapy, relaxing white noise, massage chairs, a place to stretch or do yoga, and inspirational reading materials. She filled the space with items she knew would be calming for those that needed a break from daily operations. The room is located within the hospital centralized between the Telemetry Unit, Critical Care, and the Family Birthing Center, and will likely get much use. 

    “We are proud of the collaborative efforts that have taken place between hospital staff, the French Hospital Medical Center Foundation, and hospital administration to ensure our employees have an area of respite during this trying time,” says French Hospital Medical Center Chief Nursing Executive Julie Fogelson, RN. “This is yet another example of our team coming together to create a caring environment for our staff and we want to acknowledge and thank Stephanie for the gifts of her passion and compassion for others.”

    Donations of items as well as contributions are being sought to support the Serenity Room. Please visit supportfrenchhospital.org/serenity-room or contact the French Hospital Foundation at (805) 542-6496.