June 21, 2024

Zenith Tranquil

Information treatments and health conditions

On-site massage chairs available for New Brunswick health-care workers

3 min read

During a long day at work, Justin Surette decided to get a massage, with some relaxing music and heat, at Vitalité Health Network’s new relaxation booth.

“When I came out, I was feeling like a new person,” said Surette.

“It is kind of like waking up in the morning.”

Surette, the health and safety adviser at the Vitalité Health Network, is one of the many health-care workers who can now book a 25-minute session at the RecharjMe cabins installed at health centres across the province. 

Two cabins with black doors and a punch code entry system.
The cabins were placed at the Dumont hospital’s cafeteria earlier this year and have been available for staff use since January. (Rhythm Rathi/CBC)

The relaxation cabins were officially launched on Tuesday at Moncton’s Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre’s cafeteria as a partnership between the Vitalité and Horizon health networks and Ambulance New Brunswick.

The modern-looking, closet-like cabins have just enough space for one occupant to lie down on the reclining massage chair. The reservations are made through an app, which generates a code for the user to begin their session.

The cabins are dark, soundproof and have a wall-mounted touch screen, along with a remote control to change the settings. They offer a vibrating heated massage therapy along with a meditation playlist or relaxing music.

Surette said the cabins were placed at the Dumont hospital’s cafeteria earlier this year and have been available for staff use since January. 

“I would say I probably use them at least twice a week, give or take, if not more — depending,” he said.

He said some days at work can get hectic and it helps to have this service available to relax and start fresh. Surette said the cabins are popular among the night-shift workers.

“I see a lot of employees using them.”

A man touching a screen, while holding a remote control.
The cabin offers a vibrating heated massage along with a meditation playlist or relaxing music, which can be controlled and adjusted according to the user’s preference. (Rhythm Rathi/CBC)

Pilot project

Brittany Stein, Horizon Health’s regional director of employee health, wellness and safety, said a total of 19 RecharjMe cabins are available at various health locations in the province.

She said any health-care employee can access them at any location at no cost, but the access is limited to one session every 24 hours. 

As it gets more popular, the challenge of finding an available spot will increase, but she said that is a positive indication of the service being used well.

“I think we all know health care is really incredibly challenging right now, especially in the province of New Brunswick … so we want to provide a menu of offerings for health-care workers,” she said.

Stein said the cabins are one of a number of initiatives, such as flexible scheduling, to make the experience better for those working in the health-care industry. 

This is a one-year pilot project that will later be assessed to determine its future, she said. 

A white lady with curly blonde hair, speaking at a podium.
Brittany Stein, Horizon Health’s regional director of employee health, wellness and safety, says the cabins are a one-year pilot project. (Rhythm Rathi/CBC)

The cabins have been successful in many hospital locations in Quebec and are built by a Quebec start-up company, Stein said.

“The project is an extension of the provincial health plan’s strategy to increase employee satisfaction, reduce absenteeism brought on by injury or illness and reduce attrition,” according to a media release.

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