Creative Interventions in Patient Care…

Here’s a quote from Rumi…

        “Human beings come to this world to do particular work.  That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person.” ~ Jalalaldin Rumi, 1207-1273


Do you know what your particular work is?

Creative Interventions in Patient Care

Sometime during this past summer, I was talking with nursing professor, Lea Gaydos of Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Colorado, on how to develop a questionaire measuring the impact/effects of a Creativity Workshop for People with Cancer & Their Families scheduled for Fall 2008.  During our conversation, Dr. Gaydos mentioned NANDA – Approved Nursing Diagnoses and their applicability to creative interventions.  By-the-way, NANDA stands for North American Nursing Diagnoses Association.

First of all, let me clarify the term ‘interventions.’  The field of nursing uses ‘nursing interventions’ to identify any type of activity that nurses activate, facilitate and implement in caring for patients.  Nursing interventions can be nursing orders, medical activities, patient advocacy, coordination between cw_hope-lodge-portrait5departments and communities, and emotional and spiritual activities and support.  Nursing interventions encompasses a multi-dimensional approach that I’ve been talking about since the start of this blog, and these 4 realms are: mind-body-spirit-emotion. 

In terms of Creative Interventions, clinical nurses, by virtue of their close contact with patients, are key in facilitating and integrating creativity in patient care.  Nurses in managerial, administrative, legislative and academic positions can incorporate creativity into nursing mission statements, policies, standards of care, and academic coursework.

Defining Creative Interventions

On the National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine‘s website, creative interventions is labeled as creative outlets and include only art, music and dance.  Other mind-body techniques listed have become mainstream such as patient support groups, cognitive-behavioral therapy, meditation, pray, massage, homeopathic and naturpathic medicine, and the list goes on.

I’d like point out that creative interventions is any activity that engages patients (or you) in the creative process.  So, creating may take the form of painting, arts ‘n crafts, photography, gardening, textile work, ceramics, sculpture, woodworking, cooking, writing, composing, journaling, playing an instrument, dancing, acting, collage and so on.


NANDA-Approved Nursing Diagnoses  

There are a total of 195 NANDA Approved Nursing Diagnoses (2007-2008),  and out of the 195, there are 77 diagnoses where creative interventions can and should be implemented into the plan of care for patients (and families).  In fact, creative interventions should be part of individualized patient care plans, just as giving oxygen to a patient with compromised breathing, insulin to a patient with insulin-dependent diabetes, or providing emotional support to someone grieving.  Here are a few nursing diagnoses where creative interventions should be implemented:

  • Diversional Activity, Deficient
  • Social Interaction, Impaired
  • Social Isolation
  • Spiritual Distress
  • Spiritual Distress, Risk for
  • Body Image, Distrubed
  • Health-Seeking Behaviors (Specify)
  • Pain, Acute,
  • Pain, Chronic
  • Post Trauma Syndrome

Again, these are just a few and for the rest of the NANDA Approved Nursing Diagnoses (2007-2008), go to NANDA-Approved Nursing Diagnoses under TOPICS in the left sidebar of this blog.


(It’s getting chilly here in Atlanta, but it’s still beautiful)

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