Nursing

Tips from TSE: Museum partnership builds nurses’ assessment skills

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, December 12, 2008

With the recognition that assessment is an important part of both healthcare and art, the University of Chicago Medical Center decided to team up with a local museum to develop a training program to improve this skill set among its new graduate nurses.


The result was a 90-minute program called "Discerning Eye." During the session, nurses are asked to closely examine artworks, hoping that this exercise will engage their senses and increase their responsiveness to visual cues.

Monet's Stacks of Wheat, for example, can teach nurses to notice subtle changes. The pictures that create the piece have similar subject matter, but each have different lighting and composition. By calling attention to these differences, the program helped nurses enhance their ability to notice slight changes in condition that can happen to patients between each visit.

"To improve assessment skills, we wanted to make this a more interactive program, not just put them in front of a PowerPoint," says Randy Ball, RN, MSN, nurse educator in the center for professional practice and research at the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC). "They all just came out of school; the last thing they want is more lectures on a PowerPoint."

Editor's note: This excerpt was adapted from the December issue of The Staff Educator. Discover all the benefits of subscribing to The Staff Educator!

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