Published on February 16th, 2017 | by Art News
Four Benefits of Art in Hospitals
Have you heard of the many benefits of art in hospitals? There was a time that doctors believed that medical clinics were strictly scientific places. There was no need for artists and wall art for hospitals; hospitals were meant for medical machines and pharmaceuticals that healed the bodies of the patients who were treated. The walls could be barren and the patients could stare at the wall all day and the same outcome would be achieved.
In recent decades, leading medical officials are embracing the idea that patients achieve the greatest recovery if their well-being is treated holistically. If a patient’s medical needs are treated in an environment that they feel comfortable and happy, the outcome is a healthier person overall.
This is one of the greatest benefits of art in hospitals. Many art consulting services are offering artwork for healthcare facilities in order to create a bright environment that caters to the mental well-being of the patients. Additionally, doctors are finding another one of the many benefits of art in hospitals is the therapeutic opportunities it offers. If you aren’t convinced, we’ve put together a list of the many reasons that art should be promoted in hospitals:
Four Benefits of Art in Hospitals
- Art Opens the Channels of Communication
When a patient is coping with a serious illness, they often experience a wide-range of emotions. They might be feeling anxiety, depression, fear, and worry, to name a few. Those strong emotions can totally overwhelm a patient whose body is already in the middle of crisis. In fact, it can be so overwhelming that the patient might not be able to express how they feel about their situation, or even understand how they feel about it to begin with. Doctors are finding that having all those emotions bottled up inside has a negative impact on a patients health and treatment.
When a patient is struggling to process the diagnoses and treatment they have on the horizon, doctors find that art therapy is a very effective way to help them sort out their feelings, so it isn’t just bottled up inside. Figuring out how a patient feels about a situation is the first step in helping them develop constructive ways to channel it (which we will get to later).
- Art Treats the Mind, the Mind Treats the Body
Hospitals have a reputation for being sterile and somewhat depressing. When a patient is already going through crisis, being in a stark environment that intimidates even a healthy person is not helpful (at best). Many studies show that mental health is tied directly to physical health. When a patient is depressed and struggling to see a reason to live, it has a profoundly bad impact on their treatment process.
One of the greatest benefits to art in hospitals is creating an environment that inspires patients and uplifts their mental outlook. This contributes to their healing and well-being.
- Art Gives Sick Patients a Constructive Avenue
Along the lines of mental health, being productive is a need that all humans have. In fact, one tactic used in drug treatment facilities to “break” a patient and force them to face their own mortality is to make them waste the day doing something (such as washing pots and pans or digging a ditch), only to immediately undo it. Wasting your day with nothing to show for it has a profoundly negative impact on your well-being (if that isn’t the actual goal of the exercise, as with the drug rehab example).
When you lie in bed all day, wasting the days away, it atrophes your brain, and gives your body no reason to heal itself. Art gives patients who are bed-ridden a constructive avenue to be productive and give them hope for the future.
- Art Gives Patients a Sense of Pride That Renews Their Hope in Life
Sometimes, the most discouraging part of being ill isn’t just how the disease makes the patient feel, but the loss of abilities they used to have. They might have once been independent, but now they lie in a bed and depend on other people to meet all their needs.
However, no matter what condition a patient is in, they are capable of some form of art. This gives a patient a sense of pride that improves their overall well-being.
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