The Healing Power of Art: May 4, 2019
“It’s terrifying. You can only imagine if you are coming down that hall and you don’t know. I’ve seen patients pull the sheets over their face, turn their head away, I’ve seen them cry,” said Kelly Ross, a guest services representative with Lee Health. For years, she’s watched patients’ react as they’re transported through surgery doors.
Patients needing a heart procedure are brought down a long hallway at Health Park Medical Center, but health experts say when the doors open, and patients see the long, bright hall, they can see the fear set in. “We had an episode of a patient who was having a serious heart attack. As we were coming down the hall, he became panic-stricken. He felt like he was going to die, that this was a terminal hall and he was going to the white light. He was so frightened, “said Christine Posedel, Director of Invasive Cardiovascular services at Lee Health.
That’s when the staff decided to add some comfort to the hall. “We really took that opportunity to do something to this hall that might eliminate some fear and inspire a sense of warmth and welcoming,” said Posedel.
Today, the entire ceiling is painted with a light blue sky and green palm trees—giving patients a positive distraction on their way to surgery. “The impact that it had on the patients coming back down that hall during difficult situations was amazing. You could just see the calmness, the distraction,” said Ross.
Convinced that the bright colors helped soothe patient’s anxiety; staff decided to expand the project to the prep and recovery room. “We get such positive feedback from patients in the prep recovery area. How beautiful it is and how entertaining they are, and it helps kill time as they are waiting, “said Posedel.
A creative way of keeping patients calm during a stressful time.