DiversityNursing Blog

Gates Foundation Uses Art to Encourage Vaccination

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Jan 07, 2015 @ 01:33 PM

By MELENA RYZIK

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Artists, it’s fair to say, usually don’t know much about bacteria. Vik Muniz is an exception. Mr. Muniz, the Brazilian-born photographer known for his unorthodox materials, has been working with the M.I.T. bioengineer and designer Tal Danino on a series of trompe l’oeil images of microscopic organisms: cancer cells, healthy cells and bacteria.

At first glance, they look like ornate and colorful patterns. In reality, they represent teeming, living things. Among his latest: a pink print that could pass for floral wallpaper. But it’s made up of liver cells infected with the Vaccinia virus, which is used to make the smallpox vaccine.

“Normally, patterns are soothing structures,” Mr. Muniz said, “and all of a sudden, there’s a lot of drama.”

The work now has another meaning. It will be used in a new online campaign, The Art of Saving a Life, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The intent is to promote vaccination just in time for an international effort to raise funds to inoculate millions, especially in poor nations.

The campaign, to be released online on Wednesday, is the first time that the foundation has commissioned artists in the service of a cause. The global roster includes photographers (Annie Leibovitz, Sebastião Salgado, Mary Ellen Mark); writers (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie); filmmakers (Luc Jacquet, director of the documentary “March of the Penguins”); and bands (Playing for Change).

The intent is that their work will spread virally — in the digital sense — and be shared on social media with the hashtag #VaccinesWork to inspire a dialogue and donations.

“We want to get the buzz and the conversation going, because it’s easy to take these important lifesaving tools for granted,” said Dr. Christopher Elias, president of the global development program at the Gates Foundation. Art, the foundation hopes, will serve as a reminder to people “who aren’t going to read the editorial in Science,” Dr. Elias said. If the program is successful, he said, it could serve as a model for other Gates Foundation projects.

The idea came from Christine McNab, a consultant to the foundation. In brainstorming new ways to promote vaccines, she considered “what makes me cry, what makes me think,” she said. “It’s films, it’s books, it’s galleries.”

Ms. McNab and her team invited the artists in and suggested which diseases or issues to address. But they had no control over what was created. Some artists were paid a small fee to cover expenses; some retained their copyright, and others donated their work.

Ms. Leibovitz snapped a black-and-white portrait of people involved in vaccine development. Fatoumata Diabaté, a photographer from Mali, captured the last phase of trials for an Ebola vaccine. The German painter Thomas Ganter paid tribute to the little-sung medical aides who administer the shots, with his oil on canvas of “The Unknown Health Worker.”

The project is timed to lead up to a Jan. 27 meeting of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, an international public-private partnership in Berlin. Some images will be displayed at the conference, which aims to raise $ 7.5 billion from donors for Gavi’s next phase of development. Separately, the Gates Foundation has funded many immunization-related grants, at a cost of millions — far greater, a spokeswoman said, than the budget for the art initiative, which she would not disclose.

As the project developed in the last year, the anti-vaccination movement, in the United States and other Western countries, only gained steam. Though the programs that the Art of Saving a Life supports are targeted elsewhere, “in some ways what we’re hoping for is not just a broader debate about vaccination and immunization, but a more informed debate,” Dr. Elias said.

Countering the anti-vaccination rhetoric was part of the reason that Alexia Sinclair, a photographer from Australia, participated, she said. “I have a young daughter, and it’s quite a hot topic here,” she said, adding that she thought that producing a work of art “allows the conversation to happen in a clearer way.”

After learning that the Chinese characters for smallpox mean “heavenly flowers” — because the pustules bloom on the body, and the sufferers eventually die — Ms. Sinclair, who makes historically-inspired tableaus, created a scene of an 18th-century doctor administering a vaccination, surrounded by grass and blossoms. It brings a fashion-y aesthetic to an ugly disease. “I wanted to create something that looked at smallpox, but did it in a way that didn’t repulse people,” she said.

In an era when viewers are image-saturated, the campaign’s success, and how to measure it, are an open question. “We’ll look at the metrics,” Dr. Elias said. But, he added, the project has already proved valuable inside the Gates Foundation, as a new perspective on old problems.

“The phenomenal response” from artists, he said, “suggests that we have tapped a set of interests and voices that we perhaps should’ve been paying attention to sooner.”

Source: www.nytimes.com

Topics: health, healthcare, nurses, population, children, medical, medicine, diseases, physicians, art, vaccinations, vaccines, shots, prevent

Is the Nursing Profession an Art or Science?

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jun 02, 2014 @ 01:57 PM

By Kirsten Chua

Art or Science 02.jpg

Everybody knows that the nursing profession has two different sides—it is both science and art. That said, nursing as a science is more apparent.

For example, if you are a nurse, you must know the patient-based nursing care plan (NCP). You must also know the disease mechanisms of all diseases, medications, and management from all sides. Nurses also need to be up to date on new policies, practices, and procedures. Moreover, they need to know how to manipulate new diagnostic equipment and machines.

The science of nursing is easily noticeable and it is very critical for each one to know.

What Is the Art?

Meanwhile, the art of nursing is more than a great deal of science. It is more than just knowing; it is doing. It bridges information from nurses to patients in a skillful way. It is the application of all the science known to nursing to give the utmost care the patient needs.

During your first year in the nursing profession, you are in the heat of the moment. You now belong to that bunch of young professionals who are enthusiastic and motivated in practicing their craft. Maybe many could attest that when you first become a nurse you see the art more than the science of it.

But it is sad to note that as time passes by the semblance of the nursing being an art bleeds out. At the drop of a hat, you get suffocated from the career you once loved.

The Human Touch

In the past 7 years that I have been a clinical instructor, I have seen so many changes in the healthcare arena and how nursing should be. But one thing remains: human nature.

Our patients’ needs have remained constant and relentless. As Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests, these include food, sense of belonging, warmth, compassion, self-actualization. These basic needs have been addressed in the same way since the dawn of science. However, the ways to meet them may have changed from time to time.

The art of nursing may have been in each person even before entering the profession. That innate capacity to respond to the needs of individual is already the art of nursing. In nursing school, this vivacity is awakened through constant interaction with the patients in various settings.

Nurses are called to perform relational work. Therefore, the motivation to keep that art in us should be continuously burning. We have the power to heal the sick. An effective nurse is one who gives nursing care independently and collaboratively with other healthcare teams.

The art of nursing comes in as a nurse independently does his or her job. The options s/he considers in taking a certain action and ultimately the action s/he does to respond to patient needs are the art of nursing.

It is in the nurses’ hands to promote positive changes in patients. Everyday we are faced with patients who are in different conditions. In this case, individualized nursing care is noteworthy. Knowledge is not enough. Compassionate care is paramount.

Where Is the Art?

In my experience, I have witnessed things in which nursing as an art is not manifested. I squirmed while hearing a nurse teaching pre-operative patients without compassion. Instead of comfort, fear is built within the patients.  I have observed nurses, who are not well informed about a disease process, explain things to patients without using therapeutic communication. I have noted procedures done outside the context of the protocols and sterile technique.

Sadly, many of these incidents are from those who have been in the profession for so long. Science is applied, but where is the art in this perspective?

Clearly, nurses must be equipped with the science of nursing. But until the art of nursing is recognized as a necessary principle for patient care, nurses will likely to continue to demonstrate behaviors that make them good technicians. However, they will not necessarily be good nurses.

As a field grounded in compassion and direct patient care, the art of the nursing profession is more important than the science. And this is where the so-called calling comes into play. 

Source: nursetogether.com

Topics: science, mind, nursing, health, art, care

New York nurse blends art, healing

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Apr 07, 2014 @ 01:47 PM

bildeAs a registered nurse in the cardiac surgery ICU at Beth Israel Medical Center, Valley Fox, RN, BSN, MA, AP, CCRN, witnesses the spectrum of life and death. 

Her days are full of pharmaceuticals, imaging studies and other visual elements, which she reinterprets into an artistic language that explores the relationship between body and spirit.

“I take inspiration from the hospital because that’s where I spend my time,” Fox said. “Being in the presence of those images and bodies, it comes through instinctively.”

In one piece of artwork Fox donated to the American Heart Association and the cardiac surgery unit, she subtly embedded a heart in the middle of a flower. Many people did not notice, but her colleagues on the unit spotted it immediately. 

“The heart is the center of everybody,” said Cathy Sullivan, RN, BS, MSN, FNP, CCRN, director of patient care services, Beth Israel Medical Center — Petrie Division. “Without your heart, you wouldn’t have a body or soul.” 

describe the imageBeth Israel Medical Center nurse Valley Fox, RN, recently completed abilde (1) month-long art exhibit at New York University’s medical sciences building called “Origins of Medicine.”
Mary Anne Gallagher, RN, MA, BC, director of quality, standards and practice at Beth Israel, envisioned a fetus and baby in one of Fox’s paintings, which the artist had not intentionally set out to create. “When you are in her presence, there’s a feeling of peace and comfort,” Gallagher said. 

Art came first for Fox, who was born with severe myopia. Her inability to see clearly beyond 10 inches went unrecognized until she was in kindergarten, when she received glasses. “As a child, I was always drawing because that’s how I processed reality,” Fox said. “I would play with Play-Doh. I was constantly doing artwork as a child.”

The school allowed Fox, a gifted student, to paint twice a week in her elementary school years, where she developed her skills and creativity. “Everyone has creative capacities,” Fox said. 

Her parents encouraged Fox to pursue “a practical degree” rather than art. After completing her nursing school prerequisites and waiting to be admitted to a nursing program, she turned to Chinese medicine. She completed a master of oriental medicine at the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but the timing was not ideal to set up her own practice as an acupuncture physician. 

bilde (2)Still, healthcare intrigued her, and the opportunity to travel, move around and practice in different places cinched her decision to become an RN. She worked in Florida, Illinois and upstate New York before settling in New York City. Nursing is a career path she has not regretted. 

“Being a nurse is incredibly rewarding, to help patients when they are in tremendous need and offer support and listen,” Fox said. “I get to share intimate moments with total strangers, and then there are critical moments where we work together as a team and save someone’s life. It’s an incredible opportunity.” 

Fox credits her artistic background with the intuitive skills she draws from as a critical care nurse. She considers the interconnectivity of the mind and body and draws from her experience in medicine to pick up subtle clues. 

“Sometimes, that right brain element comes through, and we can sense a patient may code and prevent an emergency,” Fox said. 

Fox professionally displays and sells her paintings and recently completed a monthlong exhibit at New York University’s medical science building called “Origins of Medicine,” in which she explored the relationship between the mind and body in medicine.

“Valley looks at the patient as a whole and anticipates,” Sullivan said. “That’s the type of nurse you need, one who pays attention to detail. And artists pay attention to details.”
Source: Nurse.com

Topics: New York, Beth Israel Medical Center, nurse, art

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