Nurses and Creativity
Are nurses creative? Of course it varies from nurse to nurse. Perhaps the better question is: Do nurses get to use creativity on the job? When I was a new nurse I didn’t think so. As a creative type, and a sometimes artist, I was happy to have finally settled on a career that had nothing to do with art. Now I was free to work on my artistic pursuits, apart from any worries about making money from them.
When I was a new nurse, I thought you couldn’t find a less creative job. At times I felt like a robot – churning out tasks, adhering to schedules, following orders. Where was there room for creativity? But the more I practiced nursing, the more I realized that of course nurses use creativity. Give a nurse a towel and some surgical tape and she becomes a sculptor. Give a nurse a tiny scrap of paper and an encyclopedic amount of data to write on it and he will become a graphic designer.
Give a nurse a patient care problem and they will solve it. There are numerous products invented by nurses like the bili bonnet and the Wee Thumbie. Both products were invented by NICU nurses to solve particular problems that they came across in their practice.
Opportunities for creative problem solving are everywhere in patient care. How to get a chemo patient to eat. How to help one sleep in a noisy ICU. How to teach them how to do wound care when they leave. How to teach a newly diagnosed diabetic what to eat. These things take creative problem solving skills to a new level. And nurses do it on the fly.
Do you get to use creativity in your job as a nurse?
For more thoughts on creativity in nursing, I recommend following Creative RN on twitter.