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Oasis rooms provide a respite for caregivers and physicians

Monument Health caregivers and physicians in all markets now have dedicated spaces to help them unwind while at work. Several relaxing oasis rooms have been set up as a part of the Physician and Caregiver Support Team’s first set of initiatives.

“The oasis rooms provide a safe, quiet retreat for our caregivers so they can decompress, which can help decrease compassion fatigue and burnout,” said Debbie Risser, Nurse Manager for Rapid City Hospital Emergency Services. “Providing these rooms helps express our gratitude to caregivers for the care they provide to others, and also supports their health and well-being.”

Leah Walker, Emergency Services nurse at Rapid City Hospital, relaxes in an oasis room.


Twelve rooms have been set up in strategic locations throughout the system, with seven at Rapid City Hospital and one in every other hospital. All caregivers and providers are welcome to use the rooms.

Equipped with comfortable seating, calming white noise machines, aromatherapy and dim lighting, the oasis rooms are optimized to give a restful experience for one or two caregivers at a time. The Monument Health Foundation helped purchase the equipment for the calming environments, and caregivers in each market helped design the rooms.

“The oasis room will be valuable to our caregivers because it’s not like other rooms here,” said Jenni James, Patient Access Specialist at Lead-Deadwood Hospital. “We wanted to create a space with a home-like feel, so caregivers can take a few minutes to escape the stresses of work or personal life.”

Priscilla Romkema, Ph.D., President of the Foundation, said the goal of the Physician and Caregiver Support Team is to launch efforts that will provide much-needed support during this critical time in health care. “We hope caregivers and providers will access these rooms during these challenging times and beyond,” she said.

Grace Wick, Patient Care Champion with the Heart and Vascular Unit at Rapid City Hospital, said the oasis rooms are a great way to get a breath of fresh air. “If I am ever feeling overwhelmed, it is wonderful to be able to go somewhere and disconnect or gather myself for even just a couple of minutes.”

In early April, the Physician and Caregiver Support Team conducted an informal inventory of existing support efforts at Monument Health, which included conversations with a number of physicians and caregivers.

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