The Covid-19 pandemic has dragged on and is entering into its third year now. It has not been an easy few years for anyone but the hardest hit industry is the healthcare industry. Healthcare workers are overworked, exhausted and burnt out. They have been fighting tirelessly on the frontlines, day in and day out with no break, no leave, no time to stop. They miss their families and friends and the endless toil, intense stress and loneliness everyday has taken a toll on their mental health. More than our applause, healthcare workers are in need of greater infrastructural support. The modern phone booth can be a possible stress reliever for nurses and doctors to seek brief respite in when they are tired or in need of alone time from all the stress they are facing at work.
To add on, some schools are still balancing between online learning and on-site learning. Therefore,
Stress has been proven to affect the physical body severely and can manifest in many different ways, such as burn out, headaches, tiredness, and many more mental health issues. Healthcare workers put their lives on the line every single day to help others, but they too, need support. Burnout in healthcare has been found to cost at least US$4.6 billion per year leading to physical turnover. This is a costly problem because hospitals are already lacking in staff and they cannot afford to lose any more precious manpower.
First of all, the modern phone booth or in other words, private pod which is more commonly known as the office pod are the meeting rooms of the future. Nurses can use the office pod to have discussions with the preceptors without having to retreat to the staff pantry especially for private discussions. Having a dedicated space to have discussions gives them assurance that all their discussions will be kept private.
Next, hospitals could consider placing multiple phone booths for nurses and doctors to make phone calls to families, patients and colleagues outside of commonly used spaces, such as outside certain wards. This is so that nurses and doctors do not need to walk all the way to meeting rooms just to have private phone calls with patients and family members. These multiple phone booths ensure that there are spaces that are convenient, accessible and private for private phone calls.
Currently, especially due to the rise in the number of patients, there could be a need for more spaces for doctors, patients and families to have conferences. They will need a private room to discuss confidential matters comfortably with the assurance that others will not hear them. Setting up private pods can serve as a meeting room that is easily accessible and mobile, to adapt to the needs of the hospital. Rather than making more conference rooms, office pods are a more sustainable and cost friendly option. Since they are soundproof, patients and doctors can be assured that information shared during the meeting will not be heard by others outside the room without noise distraction.
Lastly, these private pods can become a resting place for nurses and doctors, who have to work long shifts to take a breather from the chaos at work. Having a dedicated space for quiet time to recharge can make a big difference in improving employee happiness and wellbeing. These private pods encourage workers to signal the need for privacy so no one else will disturb their rest time, unlike resting in the pantry, which is open to any staff to enter.
All in all, office pods could potentially help relieve some stress and benefit hospitals and healthcare workers to improve their mental and physical wellbeing.