Taking part in the opening of the Snoezelen Room were, from left, Susan Mayzel, group counselor/certified substance abuse counselor; Vanessa Cooper, recreation therapy coordinator; Kent Alford, RN, director of nursing; Melodie Brown, unit therapist; Kristin Young, art therapy student, and Mark Mantilla, RN, nursing manager.
Prince William Hospital, Manassas, Va., recently unveiled a new addition to its Center for Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment.
The hospital opened a Snoezelen Room, located in the hospitals behavioral health inpatient unit. The rooms, which also are known as multi-sensory stimulation rooms, are intended to be calming and soothing for patients with acute psychiatric distress and agitation.
For patients, the room experience can be effective because it does not require cognitive interpretation; rather, it utilizes the soothing effects of different lighting, soft-to-the-touch wall and furniture textures and other sensory aids to calm a person in an agitated state.
“This concept is virtually failure-free because it enables the patient to interact with their environment on a level that is appropriate for their functioning capability,” said Kent Alford, RN, director of nursing, behavioral medicine, in a news release.
The hospitals behavioral medicine nurses and staff will utilize the rooms multi-sensory and relaxation interventions to promote a sense of calm for patients.
A beach mural on all four walls is the focal point of the room, and it is complemented by a glider chair, bean bag chairs, music (including ocean sounds), squeeze/stress balls, a fan, and aromatherapy and sobriety kits.
“Each kit consists of affirmations, workbooks and worksheets ranging from how to build up self-esteem to tools on how to maintain sobriety to blank paper with colored pencils and crayons,” said Vanessa Cooper, recreation therapy coordinator, in the release. “These kits will help patients exercise relaxation and coping skills.”
The mural was designed and painted by Kristin Young, an art therapy student from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Young has worked with the hospital since last fall as an intern.
“Our hope is that this environment will assist with improving physical health, anxiety, mood, attention and memory in our patients,” said Mark Mantilla, RN, nurse manager, in the release. “We are proud to offer this place of sanctuary for our patients away from stress and within wholesome boundaries.”