Soothing, peaceful, picturesque- words not usually associated with a hospital. But these days, health care providers are pulling out all the stops, to make their hospitals more hospitable.
“We bring art to all different facets of the health care community. We work with artists, we work with musicians, we work with clowns, we work with puppeteers, we work with storytellers,” says Doug MacGregor, arts in the healthcare coordinator with Lee Memorial Health System.
There is science behind the beauty and it is something Lee Memorial Health System is embracing to supplement patient care.
“Art is a healing force, it’s been proven, clinically proven, that art and music calms the patient, distracts them from their pain. So art is a very important part of everyday life- but in particular in a health care system,” says MacGregor.
Research shows decorating hospitals with artwork can speed healing. Back in the 1980s doctors noticed post-op patients who had windows that looked onto a park recovered faster. It’s a basic need when we’re stressed, to seek out something soothing.
“We look for calm art, obviously you see the paintings on the walls they are all serene all have to do with marine life and the sky,” says MacGregor.
Artist Kristina Hodge put herself in the patient’s position when she painted these ceiling tiles.
“I was thinking of emotions: bright, happy; yet kind of quiet. So you had some that were bright colored and you have some that were soft. It helps people relax and it takes them to a place to just be creative and go with the flow,” says Hodge.
Whether it’s piano music in a lobby or an art gallery in a waiting area, it’s about using sights and sound to create a healing environment.