Wellness Challenge Benefits Patients and Staff

Wellness Challenge Benefits Patients and Staff

By Shannon Selle, B.A.

Wellness Challenge Benefits Patients and Staff

By Shannon Selle, B.A.

As part of our rehabilitation program at Purity Dialysis Centers, we wanted to include all areas of wellness, so we compiled a list of 32 activities. Participants in the Wellness Challenge had to complete one activity per day for an entire month. Activities that participants could choose included those aimed at improving mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and physical health.

Patient participants were given a score sheet with a list of wide-ranging activities, such as:

  • Do 15 minutes of physical activity today.
  • Get 6-8 hours of sleep.
  • Do 25 knee lifts.
  • Give a fellow dialysis patient a positive comment.
  • Go tobacco/alcohol free
  • Find out what your Kt/V is and what it means.
  • Give a dialysis staff member a positive comment on his/her work.
  • Play checkers with a friend (some people did this during dialysis).
  • Participate in a hobby you enjoy for at least 15 minutes today.
  • Read a book or listen to a tape of relaxation music (also available in the unit).
  • These score sheets were posted in the patient lobby of the dialysis center. Participants placed a sticker over the activity once it was completed.

We provided our staff with the same challenge (different activities) to help them focus on their wellness. Examples included:

  • Call/write a friend to catch up on news.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Read a book or magazine for enjoyment.
  • Eat 5 servings of fruits/vegetables today.
  • Go caffeine-free today.
  • Do 20 pushups and 20 sit-ups.
  • Try a group exercise class at a community club.
  • Give a co-worker a positive comment on work.
  • Prepare a new, low-fat meal for yourself/family.
  • Clean and stock the first-aid kit.
  • At the end of the contest, all participants received an apple and a balloon for their efforts. Those who completed 28 activities were entered into a drawing for an autographed Packer football and Packer T-shirts, donated by Purity Dialysis Centers.

We sent out a short evaluation form, asking for feedback on the Wellness Challenge. Results were extremely positive from both patients and staff. Staff said the challenge was easy to administer and was applicable to all patients, because it included many different aspects of wellness. Patients enjoyed the challenge because they could choose from a variety of activities. Many patients and staff members said they’d like to participate in another program next year.

Outcomes/Benefits

  • Of 168 patients, 61% participated in the challenge, and 32% of those patients completed 28 activities.
  • We had a 78% participation rate from staff, with 43% completing 28 activities.
  • This Wellness Challenge suggested activities that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
  • We saw an increase in participation with some of our more sedentary patients, since the program was not entirely based on physical activity.
  • Participation enhanced communication between staff and patients.

Name: Shannon Selle, B.A.
Title: Health & Fitness Director
Organization: Purity Dialysis Centers
Waukesha, WI
Date: December 1999

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