The Performing Nurse

The Performing Nurse

May 2016

Arts and Health - a winning combination

A great evening of Anywhere Theatre Festival entertainment is making its way to St Vincent’s Private Hospital on Saturday, May 21.

Brisbane performer Lisa Smith is taking us out of traditional theatres and into the theatrical world of the hospital for a peek into the lives of nurses and midwives.

Performing as part of the 2016 Anywhere Theatre Festival in Brisbane, Ms Smith's one-woman comedy show, The Performing Nurse, is based on decades of first-hand experience.

Ms Smith uses her experiences as a registered nurse and midwife for more than 20 years to create a suite of characters that use satire, song, memoir and live projection to explore the narrative of the nurse.

"The show raises awareness of the plight of nurses and midwives everywhere - the relative value society places on the profession, the public's expectations of nurses and the cultural significance and influences,” Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith received the Lord Mayors Performing Arts Fellowship in 1997, has studied drama at New York University and has a Performing Arts degree from QUT Creative Industries. She facilitates drama and singing workshops at QUT and is currently doing a Masters of Arts Research.

The Anywhere Theatre Festival performance helps St Vincent’s Private Hospital to achieve the important goals of the Hospital’s Arts Program, which was established in 2012.

Arts Co-ordinator Fiona Forrest has created a unique program that offers patients and staff an array of engaging and interactive experiences and opportunities.

“The program includes theatrical performances; multimedia installations; workshops for all ages, including adolescents; musicians; storytelling and over 600 artworks spanning every ward and level in a series of ever-changing rolling exhibitions.

“We have even had a local street artist transform a space awaiting clinical redevelopment into an ‘Art Shell’ around the theme of our pioneering women, our values and our link to the City and Brisbane River. It gives us the perfect backdrop for activities,” Fiona said.

“The Hospital has also recently received a grant from Arrow Energy’s Brighter Futures Fund to develop an Art Lending Library so our patients can choose from a range of artworks to hang in their rooms according to their personal taste.”

Research conducted by the Australian Catholic University has demonstrated that the Arts Program is proving to have a significant impact on the wellbeing of patients at St Vincent’s Private Hospital.

It has shown that it is motivating patients’ recovery and is therapeutic in helping with illness and pain and helping patients’ orientate to their environment. It also helps them connect with others, drawing them into a different space and time, inviting them to move to a greater sense of wellbeing and spirituality.

St Vincent’s Private Hospital CEO Cheryle Royle said the impact of the Arts Program could not be underestimated.

“Our patients have chronic and complex health care needs. They are here for highly-specialised care and treatments that aim to help them achieve the best possible health outcomes according to their individual needs,” Ms Royle said.

“Their emotional and spiritual wellbeing is incredibly important to us, for most they are going through some of the most challenging times of their lives and often their hospital stay can be for a considerable time.

“The wonderful effect the Arts Program has on the wellbeing of our patients has been profound and we could not imagine hospital life without it,” Ms Royle said.

For more information contact Flo Turnbull on 3240 1399 or leave a message in the form below.

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