Bringing Beauty to the Bedside


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Within the ICU, a project to solicit staff to see the importance of creating a healing environment by the addition of their photographic art onto the walls of patient rooms.

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Bringing Beauty to the Bedside

  1. 1. Kaiser Permanente, Northern California Caritas Consortium 2013 Bringing Beauty to the Bedside Caritas in Action How Caring Science informs and inspires KP caregivers and affirms our commitment to provide our patients and their families exceptional care
  2. 2. Bringing Beauty to the Bedside Intent to Contribute Statement: In the Sacramento ICU, the patient rooms are sterile white with bleeping equipment adorning their walls. Approximately half of the room’s views out the window is of the air ducts and other rooftop accoutrements. If you are dwelling in one of the larger corner rooms, the window is there but tiny and difficult to see out of, lending one to feel suspended in a closet. In order to bring art into the rooms the following challenges were perceived: lack of funds, a busy engineering staff that results in months long waiting lists, helping the staff to see the importance of creating a healing environment by the addition of art to the rooms. I choose photographic art because I hoped the staff would contribute. I enlarged and framed two of my photos, a passion flower that was hot pink with lime green and purple centers and stamens, as well as a beach scene with crashing waves on white sand. I posted one on each side of the unit with a bulletin attached that briefly shared the importance and benefits of beauty in the healing environment. I asked the ICU team for photos (with enough pixels to maintain the content when enlarged) that they perceived as relaxing, beautiful, serene, and easily recognizable. No people or pets please. We have neurological patients and it would not help their confusion if they mistook a photo of a metal structure for a spider and its siblings. In addition, I requested that each person fund their own submission, which was a total cost of seventeen dollars. Yes, really! Me and my 25% off Joann’s coupon went shopping on a day when the frames were already half off. I purchased 34 of them, a portion of which had to be shipped. Did you know that it is only nine dollars to enlarge a photo to a 20X30 poster size? It is amazing how lovely an enlarged photo of a flower can be. The bulletin also mentioned that it was acceptable to contribute more than one and that those who did not have a submission could still be a part of the beautification project by funding others’ work of art. Page 2
  3. 3. Bringing Beauty to the Bedside … Continued Finally, I stated that each submission would have the participants name on one of the corners. I chose Sam’s Club to print the 20X30inch posters because the quality was very good and the price could not be touched by others. Plus, it was ready in one hour, which decreased this gal’s work away from work time. The poster frames from Joann’s solved a number of challenges. First was price, SCORE! Second was that they were light weight. This meant that I did not have to involve engineering with the actual hanging of the posters although I did plead with the Manager to permit me to hang things on the wall. It only cost me a homemade cheesecake or rather the memory of the one I sent after they assisted me with the last Caritas Fair. I was able to mount the posters on the wall with two sided adhesive Velcro. I am hoping to be able to move around the photos from side to side of the unit since our staff generally works in one area, hence Velcro versus another adhesive. Granted, these frames are not museum quality but they are light, affordable, pleasing, and clean easily. Initially, the staff was hesitant to offer their photos because they were “not sure if it is good enough.” But they soon over came that after a couple of the submissions were presented. I received the submissions via email or on a disc. A number of the ICU team submitted several and suggested I choose which one/ones to enlarge. Tricky they are, because I wanted them all but hoped that there would be a variety of entrants. And goodness gracious, how they flowed in to my email from RNs to MDs and CPED to Radiology techs. There were also some donations of cash to fund others work. Each time I carried in a batch of new posters at the beginning of my shift, the staff would gather around me to peek at the latest submissions. The staff would comment on their favorite and compliment all entries for they were all truly stunning. Page 3
  4. 4. Bringing Beauty to the Bedside … Continued As the process of hanging the posters continued, I received a veritable plethora of positive feedback from staff, patients, and family members. The submitters would puff up with pride when complimented, “Aw shucks, that little ole thing!” The patients and their family members commented that it was so thoughtful of the staff to contribute something personal to lighten their day. My favorite patient response was from a previously vented patient after they were extubated, “ I always loved it when you turned me to my left side because I knew I would be able to get lost in the sunset again.” The nurses, doctors, lab techs, MSWs, therapists of all flavors say they love the photos in the rooms; that it is pleasant when they work in a room with art full of cheerful colors and interesting content. When the last poster was hung, I sent out a letter of gratitude to all the staff, management, and some administrators to acknowledge the contributors. I included that I hoped the art would assist the staff in finding an opening for conversation with the patient/families, would brighten their day, and would increase their understanding of how we all contribute in creating an environment for healing. I have not had the opportunity, but wish to bring this project idea to the other units in our facility. I believe everyone can benefit from beauty in their day. Page 4
  5. 5. Bringing Beauty to the Bedside Inspired Contributor(s) 1 : Deborah Bassett – Caritas Coach  -----Service Area: North Valley Medical Center: SAC Affiliation: PCS -----Year Shared: 2013 Venue: Caritas Consortium Format: Poster ID #: H01 1 Page 5 Names as listed in Lotus Notes, otherwise personal e-mails indicated Keyword TAGs: Identifier  Consortium2013-July, North Valley, Sacramento, Poster, Patie nt Care Services, Adult Services  Healing Environments, Patients/Families Descriptor  Healing Arts
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