CU Nursing - Spring/Summer 2022 - 19

RESE A RCH
19
RESEARCH TO ART
The 37 works of art are the culmination of a longitudinal
social science case study by a group of nurse scientists.
They chose to study pediatric nurses because they have
been an underrepresented population in the literature.
Researchers also wanted to capture the comprehensive role
of nursing, in addition to providing medical care, during
a global pandemic.
Investigators collected hospital electronic correspondence
pertaining to nursing practice changes, state COVID-19
rates, factored in national and local events, and conducted
two in-depth interviews of pediatric nurses between
January 2020 and March 2021. Then, researchers took it
one step further to capture the full experience. They asked
the nurses to create and anonymously submit a work of art
that expressed their experience.
" Once you hear the stories associated with the art, they
are profound and very emotional. There is no higher honor
than getting to know someone's story and understanding
where they have been. It has been an opportunity to nurture
and honor nurses, " Dr. Tarasenko says. " It has made
me want to incorporate art into future studies because it is
a means for nurses to professionally reflect and advocate
for themselves, and their patients and practice. "
SEEING HUMANITY
The study found the more involved nurses are in their
practice, the more they feel valued and satisfied with their
work. The converse is also true. It found that interviews
and artwork gave nurses a safe and cathartic way to reflect
and express their experiences. During the pandemic, the
nurses produced creative solutions and brought humanity
to their care to meet the needs of others.
" The stories are so deep and personal, " says co-investigator
Lori Gdanetz, PhD, RN, PCCN, associate director and assistant
professor at Gannon University Villa Maria School
of Nursing. " I am truly grateful for the uniqueness of this
research team and that we are allowing ourselves to be
vulnerable and use art as a way to express our experience
from the research side. Because it was pretty powerful. "
The researchers also created artwork.
BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN SEE
When the study began, Tarasenko received two powerful
Lindsey Tarasenko
is pictured with
one of her art
submissions.
pieces of news: she was pregnant and has a disease causing
blindness. One of Tarasenko's submissions is a fluorescein
angiogram image of her right eye. Titled Know Me Beyond
What You Can See is about her diagnosis.
" The white vessels are healthy. The black vessels are damaged
from inflammation; the light around the vessels is
fluid leaking out. I have lost about half my vision in my
right eye, " she says. " It was devasting to learn this at the
same time of my pregnancy. That is where I learned that
joy and grief can coexist, and that vulnerabilities can lean
into strength and purpose. "
" Ironically, this vision loss has allowed me to see. Had
this not happened, I might have looked at this study
differently. Our participants shared deep, personal
challenges they were going through with professional
identity, social tribulations, and personal health issues,
and I felt like I was living right alongside them. Because
this happened to me, it allowed me to be receptive and
to really see them and their humanity. We are not just
nurses responding to a pandemic, we are human beings
also dealing with our own complexities, our own joys,
and our own griefs. This study created community to
support one another, heal, and grow. "
Nadia Shive displays
her poem titled
" Everything Except "
that she wrote for
the exhibit.
Continued on next page

CU Nursing - Spring/Summer 2022

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