September 28, 2009 | | Comments 0
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Nurses use artistic talents to improve patient experience and hospital atmosphere

This past summer, nurses Mary Cohn and Annette Bargmann of Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) in Parole, MD, visited patient rooms armed not with medication, but with acrylic paint.

AAMC is undergoing a series of renovations that have necessitated many windows in the acute care pavilion being covered with a film to darken the windows toshield patients from the occasional glare of the construction equipment and provide more privacy. This film has replaced the natural light flooding into patient rooms and has created a gloomy atmosphere.

Cohn and Bargmann decided to put their artistic abilities to the test and decorate the windows covered by the films. They wanted to use images and designs that would not only cheer the patients up, but the nurses as well. Scenes with animals, sailboats, and lighthouses, in keeping with the city’s maritime heritage, provided a more cheerful atmosphere for the patients and staff members.

Cohn and Bargmann used acrylic paints for their window art and worked whenever they had a spare minute. At times a passing physician or nurse would be asked to help, or if Cohn started a piece, Bargmann would finish it, or vice versa.

The window paintings are located on the sixth-floor special care unit, the third-floor critical care unit, and other floors with covered windows are requesting some window art of their own.

Staff, patients, and family members have all said the window paintings have been successful in improving the atmosphere. To read more and view some of AAMC’s window art, click here.

Has your facility attempted something similar to this? What other tactics can be used to keep a positive atmosphere during construction or other gloomy situations?


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Filed Under: Hot topicsStaff motivation


Sarah Kearns About the Author: Sarah is an Editorial Assistant in the patient safety group at HCPro, Inc. She contributes to two monthly newsletters; Briefings on the Joint Commission and Briefings on Patient Safety, and manages four e-zines; Accreditation Connection, AHAP Staff Challenge, Nurse Manager Weekly, and Healthcare Training Weekly. She also helps research new products for the patient safety and nursing market. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2008 where she earned her bachelor's degree in English.

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