After surgical tech Kenneth Baier shared the idea of having staff paint their hands onto the main Surgical Services hallway, clinical nurse manager Karen Dulka had the idea sanctioned as a teambuilding exercise.
“It brought staff members together from all areas of Surgical Services, including surgeons and anesthesiologists,” Karen said.
The hallways, which are part of a second phase of construction, have been transformed into a fun art gallery that includes signed handprints from employees. The real eye-catchers, however, are the creative caricatures of cartoon characters, smiley faces, icons and feel-good images that have infused a cheery vibe into an otherwise sterile hallway that leads to the nine new operating rooms.
“When patients are rolled through on their way to the OR, they notice the bright and fun walls and it seems to lift their spirits,” Karen said.
The wall paintings in the newly constructed hallway that connects the new East Pavilion’s third floor to the existing part of the building have become a place of pride for employees, physicians and patients.
“When they have an extra few minutes, they grab painting supplies and they start painting their favorite scenes,” Karen said.
The project that started out with simple handprints has turned into a display of artistic talent that has provided a team-building opportunity. It has been a great deal of fun for staff and made the day a little brighter for patients.
“Employees who don’t normally have the opportunity to interact during their work day are able to do so while painting their favorite images on the walls,” Karen said.
Kat Thiede is the OR charge lead nurse who brought in painting supplies for employees, “I was so proud to look around and watch our entire OR team take part in the painting of our temporary walls,” Kat said.
The walls will soon be painted by the construction team, which means the artwork will soon disappear.
The idea of painting onto canvases that can be hung throughout the hospital has been discussed as a way for preserving future artwork beyond the construction phase.
“Maybe we can extend this idea into an employee-driven project that would continue to grow the camaraderie and pride that has resulted from this simple, fun idea,” Karen said.