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ICU nurse helps healthcare workers destress while treating patients

When nurses at Baptist Memorial had to navigate the death of a patient passed or another destressing event, there wasn't really a space to decompress until now.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — COVID-19 has not only been difficult on the patients but those who care for them day in and out, especially during the holidays.   

As a result, the increasing hours can be challenging.   

Shelby Bailey is like many in her field, dedicated to her patients and during the COVID pandemic she had to go above and beyond her normal duties. 

“Without having visitors up here we've been having to be the patient's nurse, family and dietary and physical therapy, and basically the hands in the room,” explained Bailey, An ICU nurse at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto. “So it's been certainly challenging.” 

Bailey’s been working three different shifts in a week and noticed she and her coworkers needed a place to decompress from the demands of the job.   

“I noticed whenever we would have a particularly emotionally distressing moment, like if the patient passed or something along those lines, there wasn't really a space for us to be able to process that.”  

So she took action, helping the hospital set up a room especially for healthcare workers. Inside there’s a radio, salt lamp and massage chair to take a breather so they can process emotions in real-time.    

“Being that person at the bedside, you know, you sit with your patient, you cry with your patient, you are there for them,” shared Bailey.  

“When I left the room, I wanted a space to be able to process so I've been able to come in here and you just you take a minute and pass off to somebody else to watch your patient for you for just a few minutes.  

Bailey says with a place to recenter themselves, nurses are able to comfort and treat patients with a renewed spirit.