Announcement: Quarterly Student View - SPRING 2011
School: Hampshire College
Major: Arts in medicine & public health: The effects of creative participatory art activities on flow state in an outpatient oncology population
Graduation Year: 2011
Arts in healthcare-related internships or volunteer experience:
• Six month internship with the Shands Arts in Medicine Program at the University of Florida (June-December 2010)
• Arts in Medicine Summer Intensive at University of Florida (June 2008)
• Courses: Dance in Medicine, Spirituality & Creativity in Healthcare (University of Florida, Fall 2010)
What inspired you to pursue studies in the field of arts in healthcare?
I have always had a passion for helping others, dance, and visual art. I knew I wanted to bring the joy of the arts to others, and initially thought of going to college to become a teacher. During my first semester at Hampshire College, I attended a presentation given by Jill Sonke about the Arts in Medicine Program. The following summer, I attended the Arts in Medicine Summer Intensive, and knew from that point I wanted to pursue the field of arts in healthcare in practice, research, and education. That summer, I also met classmate, Allison Wickham, and she has become a mentor and inspiration as a performer in her senior dance production and during my internship at the Shands Arts in Medicine Program.
What are your professional aspirations in arts in healthcare?
I wish to continue the work I have done throughout my college career in clinical, administrative, and public health settings. I am not quite sure exactly where it will lead me, but I wish to help the field grow in practice, research, and education. I also hope to offer guidance to students who may not necessarily know about the emergent field of arts in healthcare. I want to find an appropriate clinical license, which allows me to facilitate art activities for patients, conduct research studies, and possibly be involved in healthcare policy in order to advocate for and implement arts in medicine programming
What value do you see in being a member of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare to meet your educational and professional goals?
I really value the networking opportunities, research databases, and access to the Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice. The research has been extremely useful while completing my senior thesis project about the effects of creative participatory art activities on outpatients receiving infusion therapies, which I conducted as part of my thesis and internship with Jill Sonke's direction and assistance. The Arts & Health journal served as a starting point from which I expanded my knowledge about the field.
What advice would you give to other students considering a career in the arts in healthcare field?
Do not be afraid to reach out and ask questions to professionals and other students with whom you share similar or different interests on your campus or via the Society for the Arts in Healthcare list-servs. I have learned about paths others have carved in this field, not only through my internship experience, through the education and student Society listservs as well.
What keeps you motivated to do the work you do?
I do it for the patients. I learned not just about their hospital experiences, but how much they valued my time and attention as a person. I want to be able to bring those experiences to patients as a growing and young professional. I am excited to pursue opportunities for collaboration with other Society members, graduate students, artists, healthcare professionals, administrators, and researchers. I am eager to learn more from professionals in the field.
What are your thoughts about the future of the field?
I am very excited about the start of the Society Student Resources Work Group. I look forward to its growth, and to seeing how it will impact the future of the field. I want to be as involved as I can with my level of experience and education. I hope to one day see arts in healthcare programming part of public health policies in order to ensure programs are available for patients across the nation.
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