Meet Dr. Cherryl Dellasega, associate professor at the Penn State University College of Medicine, who shares her insights about the value and power of arts therapy.
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The Role of Creativity in Health Care Mary Lynn: It is often nurses rather than physicians who are more likely to get involved with patients expressive needs and encourage participation in arts therapy. Delasega: I find that nurses perhaps are a little bit more oriented towards that emotional nurturing side of every patient and maybe a little bit more creative in terms of their care and thinking about okay, here I have this child and clinic and they’re very restless, what kinds of things might I do to kind of get them soothe and so that’s where the art will come in. Mary Lynn: According to Doctor Delasega the calls of utilizing other forms of therapy other than medical technology could be a factor that discourages greater use. Delasega: I think more and more as we get high attack and as things are taken away in terms of touching and kind of the more humanistic parts of medicine gets kind of suck up by the need to save money. I think that physicians are still wanting to really hang on to that creative part of healthcare that really drew them in. They came into health care because they wanted to care for people the same with nurses. Mary Lynn: Hershey Medical School is one of the few medical schools with the Department of Humanities. This gives its medical students an unusual insight into the clinical values of art therapy. Delasega: We’ve got a lot of creative people and so this is how it works for them and they think wow we could apply this to the people we care for.

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