Exams are stressful for all learners. Some students feel especially anxious after walking into a classroom on test day to find their classmates frantically engaged in last-minute studying. Many students wait in their cars or stand in front of the building alone to avoid these stressful situations. Although some would rather study right up until the start of an exam, our aim was to create a calm space for those who preferred not to do so. In order to provide this relaxing environment, we reserved a room near students’ exam area; we dimmed the lights and turned on a light lavender diffuser to create a peaceful place that we called the quiet room. We also provided snacks and hot herbal tea while clearing space for people to sit, lay down, or utilize one of our yoga mats. We invited students by sending out mass emails, as well as posting on the class Facebook page. We offered the quiet room immediately prior to final block exams for first-year medical students in October, November, and December 2019 with 11, 13, and 8 students in attendance respectively. In October, an additional session was held for second-year medical students with 3 students in attendance. A survey was distributed afterwards via email to all attending students. We obtained a total of 11 responses. 100% of students stated that the space was beneficial for their wellness, and that they would utilize a quiet room for future exams. Comments were very positive with suggestions including a facilitator-led stretch class at later sessions. When asked in a follow-up survey if there was interest in a breathing or meditation exercise, 4/6 respondents (66.7%) said yes. This was a pilot study to gauge student interest in a relaxing place to unwind before an exam. The quiet room was very well received. Future wellness initiatives that focus on creating and maintaining this space may be beneficial to medical students.
Osmani, Sabah and Elizabeth Lawrence. "The Quiet Room: Pre-Exam Wellness for Pre-Clinical Students." (2021). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hsc_ed_day/90