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Archive November 2018 XIX, No. 11

Staffing: Impressionist Movement

Use art to sharpen your staff's observation and communication skills.

Greta Mitzova-Vladinov

Greta Mitzova-Vladinov, DNP, CRNA, CHSE


WHAT DO YOU SEE? Discuss details in art to make your staff more attentive.

Looking to fine-tune your surgical team's critical skills of observation and communication? Take them to the art museum. Really.

As part of our Fine Art of Health Care program, recently we took a group of 30 doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists and other healthcare providers from the Lennar Foundation Medical Center to the Lowe Art Museum on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus. Working in small groups, participants studied what they see in a work of art, communicated it in the group and discussed what their observations might mean.

Greta Mitzova-Vladinov, DNP, CRNA, CHSE
ART CLASS Use art as topic of discussion that can build leadership qualities.

"Participants are always surprised at what they discover beyond their initial impressions of what they see," says Hope Torrents, director of the Fine Art of Health Care program. "Plus, they learn to communicate about their observations with sensitivity and in collaboration with their peers, which can only benefit their patients."

The Fine Art of Health Care program, launched in 2010, is based on a training methodology known as Visual Thinking Strategies that teaches students from various healthcare disciplines to enhance their sensitivity, empathy, communication and teamwork with the aim of improving patient outcomes. They learn how to remain neutral in the presence of ambiguity, to develop active listening skills by paraphrasing discussions and to link together ideas from members of the group.

You don't need access to an art museum to take advantage of visual thinking strategies for team-building exercises or staff training. Make high-resolution images of art from different time periods and cultures, and display them in your meeting room. You can get a good conversation started by asking 3 key questions:

  • What is going on here?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find? OSM
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