Tranquility Room Offers TTUHSC a Space for Wellness

massage chair and other features in the tranquility room on Lubbock campus

The tranquility room is available to faculty, staff and students at TTUHSC. 

As the Assistant Dean of Wellness for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Nursing, Associate Professor Hollis Franco, Ph.D., RN, MEDSURG-BC, is forging a path toward mental health and wellness for all—especially for members of the health care community who struggle to maintain their own well-being. 

“I am very passionate about mental health and promoting wellness,” said Franco. “Nursing school can be stressful for faculty, staff and students. I want a safe place where everyone can go to decompress, even if it is just for 5 minutes.”

The future of the nursing workforce rests in the hands of today’s students. The School of Nursing prioritizes not just students’ knowledge but their overall well-being by investing time and resources into a wellness program on which the students (and all members of TTUHSC) can rely.

Creating a Wellness Program

Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in attention to stress levels in nursing students and the nursing community as a whole. Across the country, many nursing students attended courses at their computers that were originally intended to take place in the classroom. Over time, the benefits of online learning began to reveal themselves, and that method became the standard. 

While there are many positives to the online learning format, it became clear to Franco and others in the School of Nursing that students’ lifestyles were being affected. Staying at home changed everything from mental wellness to nutritional and sleep habits, and many nursing students were reaching out more than ever for mental health assistance. 

massage chair and other features in the tranquility room on Lubbock campus

There is a tranquility room located at each campus in Lubbock, Abilene and Odessa

By developing TTUHSC School of Nursing’s Wellness Program, professionals within the school were able to focus on a brighter future for the nursing workforce—supplying students with coping skills for stressful situations. With the complex, unpredictable practice of nursing, such a program provides skills that are valuable for students both personally and in their careers.

After looking into which departments were directly involved with wellness concerns in students (students, faculty, counseling services and others), the School of Nursing sought to identify an algorithm that any faculty or staff member could use when faced with a nursing student who was struggling with their mental health. The algorithm included remaining professional and removing themselves from the student’s personal life, seeking assistance immediately according to need, and having a wellness program that would be accessible to any student, providing assistance regardless of what the student might be experiencing.  

The wellness program was not only a necessary endeavor, but a successful one. The School of Nursing received positive feedback from students regarding the program, and as it developed, an increased number of students were referred and accessed the wellness website’s resources. 

Now that many students are back on campus, a new element of the wellness program has emerged to assist students who might be struggling—a physical space for wellness.

The Tranquility Room

Franco’s role as assistant dean of wellness takes on the responsibility of directing and supporting the implementation of wellness efforts within the TTUHSC community. Nine months in this new role has allowed Franco to bring a passion project to life: a room for those who are struggling to get the space they need, however they need it. 

“The tranquility room is a quiet place to clear your mind, unplug, focus on yourself and decrease stress,” said Franco.

With a room located at each campus in Lubbock, Abilene and Odessa, the tranquility room is not just for nursing students. While it was created by the school of nursing, the tranquility room is available to all faculty, staff and students at TTUHSC. 

Time in the tranquility room may be spent doing a number of activities, or simply decompressing. Optional activities include journaling, coloring in provided coloring pages, participating in mindfulness activities or using the available massage chair or stationary bike. Users may also enjoy a cold bottle of water or a hot beverage from the coffee bar. Franco encourages visitors to use the room’s QR code to provide feedback from their experience. 

“I hope this space impacts many lives and gives hope to those struggling,” said Franco.

The tranquility room is now open on the Lubbock campus in room 2C183, the Abilene Campus in room ABSON 2701, and the Odessa campus in ACB 244. Tranquility room hours are from 9am to 4pm Monday-Friday. To reserve a 20-minute session, email Allison Pritchard, Andria Atwood, or Hollis Franco.

Lubbock tranquility room

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