Home recharge, government discounts start

Home recharge, government discounts start

Home recharge

Even with the slowness typical of our country, Italy too has set in motion to adapt its vehicle fleet to electric mobility. Waiting for the arrival of the long-awaited state incentives, the concessions currently concern other areas such as home recharging. Since yesterday, July 1st, it is possible to have a free increase in the maximum power of your meter if we own an electric car and its wallbox.

This last device has average installation prices ranging from 700 to over 1000 Euros, so any type of discount is welcome (even considering the prices of the electric cars themselves). The initiative is part of the trials launched by the GSE company, appointed by our government for the main transformations in the field of sustainability. For this reason, the offer will remain valid for all users who request it until 2023.

How to proceed? First of all, it is necessary to check whether our Wallbox model falls within those included in the offer, through this address. Subsequently, we can request a power increase thanks to the dedicated page. It is not necessary to contact our energy manager, a step that will be taken over by the government agency. It should be noted that we are talking about a maximum increase of 6 Kilowatts confined to night hours and only holidays.

In any case, it is estimated that this promotion can save on average from 60 to 200 Euros per year in the bill for electric car users. Added to this are the more generalized state incentives for sustainability, applicable to the installation of the same wallboxes. These concessions allow you to save from 50 to 110% via tax deductions, for a maximum cost of 3,000 euros. However, it should be remembered that they must be accompanied by other energy adaptation interventions in the same building.

It is undoubtedly an excellent initiative, although it remains a drop in the enormous sea of ​​facilitations for the diffusion of the electric car. As we have already pointed out in recent days, the purchase should first be encouraged (via discounts, incentives and the like) and then top-ups. But it is comforting to see that we are at least trying to improve the life, and the wallet, of those who have already invested in the future of the car.

UT Health Tyler introduces recharge room to help improve staff's mental health

Pulmonary critical care doctor Carla Wang-Kocik was performing what was supposed to be a simple procedure on one of her dearest patients when it quickly turned complicated.

Everything ended well, but afterward, Wang-Kocik felt she needed a place of peace to pull herself together before continuing her shift at the hospital.

A newly remodeled waiting area at UT Health Tyler recently converted into a recharge room was where Wang-Kocik and multiple staff members of the hospital now find their peace.

“Being in the ICU is a life or death situation, so not only do we have to deal with our sick patients, we have to deal with the pain our families are going through,” Wang-Kocik said.

The critical care doctor manages a team of residents (new doctors in training). Since the recharge room has been a positive experience for her, Wang-Kocik often takes her residents to the same room, so they feel more comfortable and are more confident in learning information as well as asking and answering questions.

She said on top of learning new things, her residents also have to learn to take care of the sickest patients.

“It’s multiple different things that they have to see, so having a room like this to just decompress, even for a few minutes, I think it’s worth it,” Wang-Kocik said, adding the recharge room is like a piece of home in the hospital.

The idea of a recharge room came to Brenda McBride, director of Trauma Support Services for UT Health Tyler, at 3:30 a.m. on a Saturday. 

“I sent a very vulnerable email to (Vicki Briggs, UT Health Tyler CEO) one Saturday morning because I worked with people from hard places for a long time and I’ve seen how our healthcare workers particularly, during COVID and post COVID, have been struggling. I knew the neuroscience of burnout prevention,” McBride said.

At the height of the pandemic and when all resources were drained, leadership saw a need to invest in McBride’s idea.

McBride said neuroscience proves that just because one has clocked out for the day, doesn’t mean bodies understand, “I’m done.”

“The science of emotion is that emotions are involuntary, neurological responses in our body. They have a beginning, a middle and an end. Emotions aren’t hearts and clouds in the sky, they’re physiology. Trauma gets stored in our feelings and our body. If you can’t allow yourself to feel your pain or feel your hurt, sometimes you offload your pain and hurt, not meaning to, it has to have a place to go,” McBride said. 

She said people who are exposed to trauma can shorten their life by 20 years by affecting their physical health.

“It might show up as headaches, it might show up as inflammation, which is related to all the leading causes of death, high blood pressure, stomach problems, IBS, depression, anxiety symptoms,” she said.

McBride said neuroscience shows individuals must allow themselves to go through emotions in a way the body understands.

“But because we have to answer the call when the call is there, we’re not able to go through that stress response cycle and it gets stuck. Burnout happens when we get stuck in this cycle of stress and we can’t get out,” she said about doctors seeing multiple patients daily.

McBride said that when the recharge room first opened in March, multiple staff members were dehydrated.

“They’re busy filling everybody else’s water, everybody else’s ice, everybody else’s call light. They don’t take the time to take care of themselves because they’re always taking care of everybody else,” she said.

At first, the staff was hesitant to enter the room. McBride often had to convince them to enter the room by offering water bottles. When they entered, McBride would ask if they’d like to sit on a massage chair. Hesitant but slowly opening up, workers began to reduce their stress response cycle in an average of two to five minutes.

As they enter, staff can circle a number on a scale of one to five to describe how stressed they feel. When they leave, the response is almost always a one — the lowest stress level.

McBride’s father was recently hospitalized.

“I remember going to the hospital and watching the nurse try to listen to my dad, and my dad tried to comprehend when he can’t hear all the things she’s asking of him,” she said.

At that moment, she realized, “How stressed is this nurse? Do I want the person caring for my family stressed at a five? Who would you want taking care of your family? We can’t give what we don’t have. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself,” McBride said.

McBride said she has had several people who have had suicidal ideation. In the room, there are also a variety of resources to address those issues, as well as trauma-informed yoga for caregivers and information about employee assistance programs (free counseling sessions, critical incident hotlines and more).

“We have had people in here having panic attacks. I know how to get them out. The (greeter) knows how to get them out. He’s also my yoga instructor, I’ve watched him show people exercises on how to release tension in certain parts of the body, so they’re also getting resources in the room,” she said.

Melvin Orellana, paramedic and registered nurse, is the only medic that works different roles in not only the ambulance but also in the ICU and in the helicopter. He visits the recharge room often to relieve her stress. 

He explained that he is often the first person to see a patient. He must figure out the problem, develop a treatment plan for that patient and gather data to make hard yet confident decisions.

In his role, Orellana has gone to explosions, heard people screaming of pain, seen burn injuries and more. At the hospital with that patient, he must take care of them and care for their families.

McBride said Orellana has had to smell scents like burning flesh.

“I work with EMS. They have had brain matter on their body. Those are things that no one should have to endure. The brain kind of takes a snapshot of those sensory moments,” McBride said.

When staff walk into the recharge room and smell the aroma of citrus bliss, they’re taken into a pleasant emotion, she said. 

Orenalla spoke about the hardest part of his role at the hospital.

“Sometimes that’s really the hardest part, to feel what that family member feels, or to be that hard one, because you have to be able to tell them, sometimes, what they don’t want to hear. Sometimes you see them crying and you want to cry with them as well, so the emotional things that come with it, some patients are really, really critical,” Orellana said. 

His position requires critical thinking, planning ahead and decision making, skills he must live up to or a patient could lose their life.

“Sometimes they say that health care people are the hardest to take care of sometimes. Some patients, we teach them, ‘Hey, seek help’ but sometimes we may not be the ones to actually do it because we’re so tough. I find that having a place like this one, where I can just come down and not have to go somewhere else to go for it, makes it easier for me to be able to come to it,” Orellana said. 

Prior to visiting the recharge room, Orellana said he had never felt a weighted blanket, but found that it was really calming.

The room contains multiple things that neurologically enhance a sense of calm and relaxation, such as massage chairs, books, water bottles, yoga mats, plants, natural lighting and coloring books.

Orellana said it’s become a routine for him to visit the recharge room before going home. He’s able to talk to the person that greets staff as they enter the room and just vent.

“Sometimes we take our experiences home, but let me come in here, let me talk to someone and let me sit down and be able to relax before going home. Then I can say to my family, ‘Hey, I’m here. I’m home,’ and everything stayed over there and just be able to join them,” Orellana said.

Before the recharge room, Orellana said he just coped with it by putting his energy into books and learning more about diagnoses and illnesses.

“I never knew how much we needed this room until we now have it. I will say it’s been a blessing to have someone that cares about us in order to have this. That means a lot,” Orellana said.

Recharge rooms are rarely seen in workplaces. UT Health Tyler has already begun to influence hospitals and other environments to do the same.

Briggs approved McBride’s idea and supported the plan to turn a waiting room into a recharge room. She said in health care, there’s very little that’s planned.

“We don’t know when the next patient is coming in. We don’t know what the condition of the next patient is going to be. It could be a patient having a heart attack or a stroke or having been in a very serious accident that brings them to the hospital. It happens all day long with total uncertainty as to what you’re going to be doing,” Briggs said.

Briggs said caregivers rarely have a moment to take a break.

“They really need to, because if you can’t slow down a minute and take care of yourself, it’s likely you’re going to make a mistake or you’re going to get burned out or frustrated,” she said.

She added at the peak of COVID-19, caregivers said the recharge room was a life-saving opportunity for them.

“Some people have been on the brink of just really giving up, but came here and got support and help and a safe place to be. I think it really makes a difference for our caregivers,” she said.

The recharge room was previously open only during the daytime, but hours of operation were recently extended into the night and to the weekends so all staff have an opportunity to use the room.

“Our first priority has got to be creating an environment where people feel good about coming to work and actually can live while they’re working. If you come to work and you like the people you work for, you feel like the organization as a whole is respects you and is going to help you do the very best you can,' Briggs said. 'It really makes a difference to the care our patients are provided as far as their experience, how they feel, their healing process and the safety of the environment that they’re in.'


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