The Granby Hospital has received its first Recharjme relaxation cabin to support the well-being of all hospital personnel. The project was financially supported by the hospital’s Fondation du Center hospitalier de Granby (CHG) and through a special initiative on part of Amélie Dufour Choquette, a licensed practical nurse at the Granby Hospital. Recharjme is a recent Quebec start-up that aims to improve the well-being and health of workers by encouraging the importance of rest, and when the CHG picked up on its mission, they wanted to do their part in spreading the message by providing a space for hospital staff to recharge.
“We held the official inauguration of the Recharjme cabin last Friday (Jan.14) and there were a lot of emotions,” said Suzanne Surette, director of the CHG. “It was a project that was started with a lot of heart and sympathy. It was supported by donations in memoriam of Doctor Karin Dion, who passed away in 2021, and people donated in her memory.”
Choquette also played her part in supporting the project by collaborating with an apparel company that aims to create a serene environment and reduce employee stress, anxiety and burnout. “She collaborated with the company Kool, who made a sweatshirt to remind employees to take time to rest. That was Karine Dion’s message; the importance of taking care of yourself and working with a certain balance for mental health.”
Surette explained that the Recharjme cabin resembles the concept of a “power nap” and allows employees to unwind on site at their workplace. Recharjme was started by two Montreal entrepreneurs during the pandemic. “They deployed this project during the pandemic when there was a lot of stress and fatigue amongst the working team so we were really happy to get to work with them.
The Recharjme cabin has various options for relaxation. “On the inside, we find a leather chair for zero gravity. It releases tensions on our body and provides a floating feeling. There is also the option to have light therapy. Often during the winter or inside, we don’t access enough outside light. This goes against the effects of a lack of light. There is also meditation, there can be relaxing music, and the chair also offers massages. We received a lot of positive comments that it helps with tension.”
The process is easy. Employees reserve a time slot that best suits their schedule using a mobile application and they are provided an access code five minutes before the session to unlock the door. “Some people have sessions three times a week, some will do it in the morning, or some will have a nap before they leave to go home.”
Sessions last 20 minutes and the infection prevention department of the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS is involved in order to ensure that the cabin follows sanitary measures. It has antibacterial walls, ventilation that recycles the air every five minutes and disinfectant wipes that must be used before and after a session.
Surette said that the space has so far made a great difference in the workplace and is aligned with the CHG’s mission.
“The employees appreciate it enormously. There have been hundreds of reservations. We find energy and a decrease in stress and anxiety. Our mission is to support the establishment, but it’s also to support the human structure.”
The CHUS is keeping an eye out on the project in hopes of bringing it to other hospitals in the Estrie. “They will base it on the experience here to bring it elsewhere. At the moment we have received a very positive response. It’s a great product and it’s simple to deploy.”