Using a Resiliency Room to Care for Deployed Healthcare Personnel
The USNS Mercy, commissioned in 1986, is a 1,000-bed hospital ship that can accommodate over 1,300 personnel, including physicians, nurses, corpsmen, dentists, and numerous ancillary providers.
The significant naval medical power associated with the USNS Mercy comes with associated stressors for the crew. These stressors include long days at sea, caring for the sick and injured, and separation from family and friends at home. Similar to evidence in the civilian literature, military healthcare personnel are subject to burnout.
In 2019, the World Health Organization included Burnout Syndrome as a medical condition and occupational phenomenon. Evidence in the literature suggests practicing relaxation techniques during a shift in a civilian hospital setting can significantly decrease an individual’s perception of stress while on shift. However, similar evidence is lacking in the military setting to include deployments aboard a hospital ship such as the USNS Mercy.
Therefore, an Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) project team sought to implement a Resiliency Room aboard the USNS Mercy to determine its impact on stress and wellness during the Pacific Partnership 2024 deployment.
Guided by the literature and with the assistance of a TSNRP Mini-EBP award, the team purchased a massage chair, bean bag chair, desk with a salt lamp, various adult coloring books designed to reduce stress, yoga/meditation literature, various aromatherapy pens, a large soft rug with blankets, an audio device with relaxing music and multiple decorations to complete the room. Planned outcome measures for the healthcare worker participants include the Perceived Stress Scale-10, General Anxiety Disorder-7, and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for stress.
Data collection is ongoing, but feedback from the crew is very positive and appreciative, so much so that the USNS Mercy Commanding Officer requested that non-healthcare personnel have access to the room. The team will conclude data collection at the end of their deployment, with analysis completion and results dissemination later this year.
Pacific Partnership is the largest annual humanitarian and disaster relief-preparedness mission in the Indo-Pacific, which enhances regional interoperability and security while fostering new and longstanding friendships. Navy healthcare personnel deployed aboard the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Mercy routinely support this mission.
LT Erik Sanchez
LCDR Jasette Fong, LCDR Berly Vincent, CAPT Carrillo, CDR Tony Torres
TSNRP EBP Facilitator:
Dr. LeAnne Lovett-Floom