An Argument for Visual Arts Integration in Medical Intensive Care Units
Summer 2020 was unique in many ways – we were still all collectively quarantined due to COVID-19; I was navigating continuing health concerns and chronic pain leading to an additional surgery; I was learning to work full-time in a virtual atmosphere; and in the midst of all this change, I decided to take a summer course for the first time ever in my decades-long educational journey.
The course I signed up for, Experiments in Content: Design for Educators, was being taught by Laura Scherling, an individual I met through my coursework at Columbia University, and someone I heard speak at a conference and immediately felt inspired by. Hence, I signed up for her course, even amid all the other crazy. The course goals were to offer an examination of new technologies, materials, concepts, attitudes, both in their current forms as well as future applications. Participants were encouraged to investigate a personal topic through field experience, hands-on demonstration, observation, readings, and lectures. I took the “investigate a personal topic” to heart, and my project dug deep into my recent hospital emergency room experience.
My time in the emergency room taught me many things: don’t sweat the small stuff, tell special people in your life how much you love them over and over and over, learning to walk is hard, and a colorful piece of art can make all the difference when your current world-view is white, sterile, and bleak.
Walk Through My Story
This idea is still in its infancy, there is still hours and weeks and years of research to do, many conversations to have, heaps of technology to explore, and overwhelming amounts of feedback to listen to. But, if your interest is peaked: learn more, get involved, donate your art, or share your story: [email protected].