Internal Resources – Other IU Health

Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health

A Code Lavender is a holistic intervention code that hospital staff can call for themselves when they are being overloaded by stress and traumatic events at work.

When this code is triggered, a Code Lavender team is called to a designated quiet room within the hospital where staff can go for chaplain consultation and some down time. A chaplain will serve as a guide for staff to work through complex emotions. In the room, resources are also offered that will promote relaxation and restoration. The aim is to help staff refresh emotionally and physically.

Different therapeutic items in the room are offered to stimulate all 5 of the senses - touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight. These items may include coffee, tea, water, granola bars, chocolate, essential oils, restful music, colorful 3D handheld labyrinths, coloring books and markers, calming pictures, and self-care reading material such as poetry, words of affirmation and employee health referral information.

Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health is currently using this method of self-care for medical staff.

 Bunch of supplies scatter across a table.

Tranquility Cart

Chaplains are called upon many times a day to help bring peace, care and compassion to patients and families. IU Health Methodist and University Hospital team members sometimes also need this type of care during their shifts. Medical staff members look forward to chaplains bringing the Tranquility Cart to their units. The cart is filled with rejuvenating beverages, snacks, treats and small items such as lip balm.

Chaplain L. Vern Farnum said, “The chocolate and lip balm go fast!”

Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services Department

Sanctuary Moment: Healthy Boundaries
May 10, 2021


The establishment of clear, healthy boundaries is an essential strategy in the prevention and/or recovery from burnout and fatigue. Burnout is generally described as the experience of fatigue, cynicism and apathy which we may experience when overwhelming events impact our lives. A pandemic is such an experience. A strategy in the prevention and/or recovery from burnout and fatigue is to set clearer, healthier boundaries.

Setting boundaries with our time has become quite the challenge during the pandemic. We learned quickly that we could shift to virtual platforms and other electronic communication tools to continue our work and relationships. The immediate utilization of virtual and electronic instruments kept us meeting, making decisions, and providing guidance and leadership in our respective professions and workplaces. We were not physically present, yet we got work done.

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Our respective work styles also became apparent. Some of us are morning people, sending emails, text messages and scheduling meetings as early as 5 am. Others of us are afternoon and evening people, preferring to communicate and meet between noon and 8 pm. Suddenly, the former timeframe boundaries around our communications and meeting schedules dissolved as we journeyed through the pandemic. The fact that we are a 24/7 operation evolved into, nearly, a 24/7 communication and meeting nightmare.

We are learning that while communications hit our phones, in-boxes and channels at any time, we must set boundaries as to when we respond to non-emergency communications. We all need boundaries. Perhaps we decide to respond to non-emergency messages from 7 am to 4 pm or from 9 am to 5 pm, or even from noon to 8 pm. One of the gifts from electronic communications is that our boundaries can be flexible, pliable and malleable. This is a characteristic of healthy boundaries.

Establishing and protecting healthy boundaries is an essential part of preventing and recovering from burnout and fatigue. At IU Health, EAP counselors, Healthy Results coaches, social workers and chaplains can assist team members in creating and maintaining healthy boundaries.

As we move into our “next normal” may we carry with us healthy boundaries.

Take care, be safe and be well.

L. Vern Farnum, D.Min, BCC, CT
AHC Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services Director
Methodist Hospital Chaplain Manager
lfarnum@iuhealth.org

Contact an IU Health Chaplain

At IU Health, we never forget that our patients are much more than simply a disease to be treated or an injury to be healed. We know each patient is a multifaceted person, with physical, emotional and spiritual needs. That's why the people in the spiritual care and chaplaincy services department work closely with medical staff to assure the well-being of the whole person.

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