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New room at Cornerstone Specialty Hospital of Shawnee provides calm relief to nurses

Kelci McKendrick -
Staff in the Watson room.

With the scent of lavender-infused aromatherapy swirling around the room, ambient lighting and calm-colored walls with aesthetically calming art, the new room at Cornerstone Specialty Hospitals of Shawnee gives nurses a peaceful break during their shifts.

Named after famed nurse theorist Jean Watson, Cornerstone’s calming recovery Watson Room was designed to provide relief to nurses during stressful moments at the hospital.

“We wanted to create an environment where our staff could recenter and destress,” said Amanda Kidd, chief nursing officer at Cornerstone. “Right now with the pandemic … plus the regular stressors in healthcare, this is just a way for them to be able to move away from that for a few minutes and just come back to themselves, come back to their core and calm down.”

Watson is a nurse theorist and nursing professor who is well known for her theory of human caring and the art and science of caring in nursing. She earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing and psychiatric-mental health nursing, and she holds a doctorate degree in educational psychology and counseling, according to her biography.

She is the founder and director of Watson Caring Science Institute, a distinguished professor emerita and dean emerita of the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado-Denver, a recipient of 15 honorary doctorates — 12 international — and a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, along with many other titles, according to her biography.

Watson virtually blessed the room on Aug. 26. She anointed the room and talked about how people all have a “connection with the greater purpose” and that everyone is “connected to each other.” She also spoke of the importance of recentering.

Although Watson has no personal connection to Shawnee, Kidd was inspired by Watson’s theory of human caring and the art and science of caring in nursing. 

At her previous job at the Carilion Clinic Community Care in Roanoke, Virginia, Kidd worked with the team to build a Watson Room there, so Kidd brought the idea of the room with her to Cornerstone when she began working there in September 2019.

She scouted the building for several months before she was able to begin renovating the room in July 2020. It was unveiled on Aug. 26 when Watson blessed the room, making it “extra special,” Kidd said.

Cornerstone’s mission is to “make a difference by providing exceptional care and delivering the best experience,” and the Watson room does just that.

“Making a difference is what we are focused on every day, and (the Watson room) helps us make a difference in our patients’ lives because we’re able to take care of ourselves,” Kidd said. “Our staff are taken care of, and in taking care of our staff, we take care of our patients.”