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Retreat Into the Wellness Room

Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily work and life, it is easy to get caught up and forget to take a breather. To provide additional emotional support for our staff and inject a little joy at work into the work space, the BVH Staff Wellness Committee, made up of staff from different departments, were inspired to create a cozy corner where staff can retreat from the world – even if only for a little while.

Dr Luke Low, Head of COVID-19 Service, BVH, and a member of the SingHealth Joy@Work Committee shared more about the inception of the BVH Staff Wellness Programme, “Since COVID-19 started and safe management measures kicked in, we noticed that staff’s motivation and job satisfaction at work had decreased. An increasing number of staff were suffering from burnout due to stringent safe management measures and being unable to travel to visit their families back home or for leisure.”

Additionally, being on the frontlines caring for COVID-19 patients is no walk in the park. It is not only physically challenging but also mentally draining. “Our colleagues at BVH faced high patient workload as the COVID-19 cases in the community surged and they were required to be in PPE and N95 masks for long periods of time. We wanted to do more to support our staff at BVH and create a safe, protected and relaxing space for them to unwind after a tough work shift,” Dr Low added.

Nina Wong, Community Relations Manager, BVH, and part of the Staff Wellness Committee also elaborated, “While the existing staff benefits served our staff well pre-COVID-19, the added demands of working during the pandemic has been very stressful for everyone, especially for our colleagues on the frontlines and also the departments supporting them. The committee wanted to provide more support as well as encourage self-care amongst our staff so that they do not suffer from burnout.”

With this as their goal, the team looked into setting up the Staff Wellness Programme to provide care and support to staff as well as boost their spirit and morale.

Welcome to our Crib
The first thing the committee did was to identify and convert an existing office into a relaxing area that staff can use to chill out. They also brainstormed on ideas to furnish the Wellness Room.

We were most excited to receive two massage chairs donated by novita Singapore. Together with the dim lights, snacks and comfy spaces, our hardworking colleagues can look forward to a nice break during their busy schedules,” explained Sarah Lee, Medical Administration Executive, BVH.

Food and snacks are always a great morale booster after a tiring day. Wendy Koh, Community Relations Senior Executive smiled, “Don’t we all usually feel better after having a little sweet treat? One idea we had was to set up a snack bar for staff to enjoy. We managed to get donations from our generous sponsors, GIC Private Limited, who provided us with a wide selection of snacks and drinks. Mr Ryan Tan, a long-time donor of BVH, also sponsored coffee machines that you can use to make a hot drink! To make sure all staff can enjoy the food, we had designated corners in level 5 and level 2 atrium.”

“We are also thankful for the support by our Operations Senior Manager, Freddy Fan and our Operations team at BVH. When they heard what we wanted to do with the Wellness Room, they took charge of the renovations and gave the room a remarkable transformation by dismantling some work stations to create a space for the massage chairs, adding a new coat of paint to the walls, and even getting blackout blinds,” Nina added.

Visitors Are Welcomed
Dr Low encouraged staff to pop by the Wellness Room whenever they have a little free time, “Kampong Napiri is a place for all to work and be happy. We are here not only for patients, but also for each other. Only when we can take care of ourselves, can we take care of our patients. The staff wellness corner is designed by staff for staff, to show that we care for one another and are committed to one another. We hope that the room will thoroughly enjoyed by staff who are taking a break or recharging, and that staff can also take good care of the place. We have earned the right to pamper ourselves.”

Altamirano Ryette Velasco, Senior Staff Nurse, BVH, said appreciatively, “I think that the intention behind all the initiatives by the team is very meaningful and I definitely feel supported by the management. As we take care of our patients, it is also important for us to pause each day and reflect on our mental health. I visited the Wellness Room and the vibe there is very relaxing and chill. I especially like the aroma therapy and dimness of the room and also look forward to trying out the massage chairs!”

​Inside the Wellness Room
  1. Dimmed lights with blackout blinds to create a Zen environment
  2. Massage chairs to sooth your aching muscles
  3. Aroma diffuser to fill the air with a natural fragrance
  4. Portable speaker to play their favourite music
  5. Artificial bamboo plants to brighten up the room as well as to provide privacy to staff when using the massage chairs
  6. Snack bar with hot and cold beverages and snacks to fill their tummies