Waiting time for Chemotherapy can be long and frustrating. Bringing an artist in to the waiting room can do wonders! Here at the old Peter Mac, patients enjoyed making things together, adding their art to a growing matchbox art gallery, having a laugh together and sharing their stories.
Wait times in out-patient clinics are an on-going issue in many hospitals, and not easily resolvable. However, when I was the artist in this unit, admin staff and doctors reported a ‘calmer atmosphere when the artist was around’. I observed patients were interested in participating either by doing, watching or talking. Their agitation reduced. I loved hearing the laughter and watching people, who were not actively involved smiling and laughing at the conversations. It elevated the mood of the unit to being positive.
Hospitals, and therefore patients and carers, can benefit greatly by engaging in conversations with artists and other creatives to seek imaginative and positive ways to reduce stress, distress and agitation in what is a very challenging time for patients.
I look forward to furthering this conversation with all you health providers out there!