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Ruwais students learn about the value of art in medicine

Art and medicine are not often thought of together, but students at Ruwais Women’s College learned today how valuable art can be in a clinical setting.

Art can be vital in not only helping patients with the healing process, but helping the doctors and nurses do their jobs more effectively and helping patients' relatives cope with the burden and the anxiety of supporting a sick family member.

Dr. Iva Fattorini, Chair of the Global Arts and Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, came to speak to the students about the ground breaking work being done with art as part of the healing process at the clinic.

The Institute aims to bring the visual arts, music and the performing arts into the wards and the waiting rooms, the consulting rooms and even the emergency and the operating rooms, to enhance the life of the hospital community.

She told the students stories about the patients she had worked with and emphasized how well researched their work had been.

It is not just about hanging a few paintings on the wall, even patients who were unconscious in the operating room benefitted from hearing music played, needing less anesthetic and recovering more quickly.

She showed photographs of some of the regular art activities run in the hospital and of some of the visiting performance artists. Cleveland Clinic will be opening in Abu Dhabi soon and Iva wanted to consult with the students on what visual art, music and performance art they thought would be appropriate for the hospital here.

The students had lots of ideas and would like to work with Iva on developing a course to teach other students how to make this happen at their own hospitals.

“We want to bring this to our hospital, ” said Mouza and Wadhha, who did their work experience in a hospital. “We are so inspired, this would really help the patients and their families.  We were so impressed with how hard the doctors and the nurses there worked and if this would help them too, it would be a wonderful thing.”

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