Art Provides Nurses with Outlet for Stress

January 5, 2012 | British Columbia

Nurses faced with patients suffering from serious injuries in Victoria have turned to painting and other forms of artistic expression to help them cope with the rigours of the job, according to the Victoria Times-Colonist.

Art is one of the more popular forms of what is known as self-care. For demanding careers such as nursing, outlets for anxiety and stress are an important part of maintaining a sense of balance for many nurses. The Times-Colonist reports that as well as providing nursing professionals with an outlet for their experiences, the art on display in the Patient Care Centre of Royal Jubilee Hospital is also popular with patients.

In addition to providing the hospital's walls with some colour, the art could also have therapeutic benefits for patients. The Times-Colonist reports that according to a 1993 study published in Psychophysiology, cardiac patients who were exposed to abstract imagery required less pain medication, were less anxious and recovered more quickly from surgical procedures.

Many nurses who have turned to art to handle work-related stress have exhibited their work on According to the website, the primary goal of the project is to retain healthy nursing professionals in the midst of a shortage of nurses in Canada.

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