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November 2021

Two women wearing facemasks next to metal trolley filled with food jpeg
Brittany Sole and emergency care co-ordinator team member Karlene Lang.

Wellness trolley boosts emergency department staff mental health

A ‘wellness trolley’ in Austin Health’s emergency department has already gone a long way in boosting staff morale.

‘The idea of the trolley is to provide quick nutritious healthy snacks for when you’re struggling to get to a meal break and have only a spare minute to quickly grab something, or for when you need a quick pick-me-up and a time out from the floor,’ said ED ANUM and wellness champion Brittany Sole.

‘We have had some lovely feedback from staff about how great the idea is and comments about staff utilising it when they needed a little pick-me-up.’

The trolley is part of a wellness initiative to help fuel staff in a busy environment and is being trialled over 12 weeks.

It is available for all ED staff and is replenished once a week with an assortment of snacks and drinks, as well as fresh fruit.

‘I think it’s simple, low-cost interventions such as something like this that can help improve staff morale,’ Ms Sole said.

‘ED is extremely busy at the moment – our department is split into two separate levels again and we’ve upped our PPE due to increasing COVID cases in the community.

‘Staff are stressed and some days you do feel burnt out but we are always trying to ensure we are looking out for each other and checking in, assisting each other when the workload is busy and, most importantly, working together as a team.

‘We are a very adaptable team and I know we will get through this – we have done it before.’