Recognizing the need to address staff fatigue, anxiety and stress after caring for hundreds of patients during four waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) has dedicated a special respite and rejuvenation room to support its nursing team members.
The room was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Kaplan family, who is well known throughout the area, as a tribute to the care they received in 2020 during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to information provided by RWJUH.
The dedicated space is much more than a break room for nurses. It features soothing colors, custom furniture designed specifically for relaxation, and a quiet environment that allows nursing staff to step away from the hospital and take a much-needed moment for themselves, according to the statement.
Plans for the respite room resulted from the work of RWJUH’s Resilient Together multidisciplinary committee, which was charged with the task of assessing and addressing staff fatigue following the first wave of the pandemic.
“Our nursing team has shown remarkable perseverance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Courtney Vose, senior vice president and chief nursing officer for RWJUH, said in the statement. “We are grateful to offer our nursing staff this dedicated space that allows them to decompress when they need to in order to continue providing exceptional care to our patients.”
The Kaplan family’s business, Kaplan Companies, including family members Michael and Helen Kaplan, Jason Kaplan, Amy Kaplan-Schafer and Lisa Kaplan, is one of the largest regional builders in New Jersey. The Kaplans became committed to supporting RWJUH’s nursing team after family patriarch and company owner Michael Kaplan became ill in 2020, according to the statement. Not only did RWJUH nurses play a central role in Michael’s recovery, they offered comfort and support to his wife during a difficult time, according to the statement.
“We’re thrilled that Kaplan Companies can do our part to help these wonderful nurses who heal and care for others every day,” Jason Kaplan, president of Kaplan Companies, said in the statement. “Our recognition of nurses shouldn’t end after the COVID-19 pandemic. We should support our nurses and doctors every day.”