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Nurses at UVA promoting self-care with innovative toolbox

Courtesy: Christine Phelan Kueter
Courtesy: Christine Phelan Kueter(Christine Phelan Kueter)
Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 4:42 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Nurses at the University of Virginia Medical Center are making sure their colleagues have a chance to take a mental break during their day.

Nancy Farish, Jane Muir, and Jeanell Webb-Jones created a toolbox for their colleagues. Each box contains noise-cancelling headphones, virtual reality goggles, and guides to make typical tasks more reflective and thoughtful.

“We’re a culture of others first. In nursing it’s always others first, and with that we have to have self care in that and changing that culture,” Farish said. “It’s very powerful to know that there are still things that I can do for myself in the midst of a very chaotic and busy day.”

The goal of these toolboxes is to allow those who are caring for us, care for themselves.

“Nurses don’t often feel like they have the permission to take care of themselves. The profession is really built on being selfless and doing everything for the patient,” Muir said. “We’ve been able to spread the message about our project. We’ve been able to share this at conferences and get feedback from other institutions that are interested.”

Seven of these toolboxes have already been given out already. The nurses are hoping to expand their efforts to hospitals across Virginia.

“I hope this encourages other medical facilities to take the time to show not just nurses, but everyone that we’re all going through this,” Webb-Jones said. “We all need to practice self care to take care of ourselves to take care of each other.”

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