Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

UF Health Shands nurses spread beauty, joy, kindness, and positivity

If you look closely around town, you may find beautifully decorated rocks in unexpected places. It might be in a tree or by a potted plant. It might very well have been thoughtfully painted by one of our caring nurses.

As part of the ‘Create in Place’ event for 352Creates, 20 UF Health Shands nurses stations and other services painted more than 400 rocks with messages of positivity and hope as a way to de-stress, have fun and build camaraderie.

‘Create in Place’ happens the second Friday of every month and serves as a reminder that creativity can fit organically into our everyday lives. For ‘Create in Place,’ 352Creates encourages individuals and organizations to do something creative wherever they naturally are — at work, home, school or wherever! It doesn’t have to take much time or cost a lot of money, and research shows you’re healthier for it.

Jennifer Pruitt, R.N.,M.S.N., C.N.M.,ARNP, UF Health Shands Mother/Baby Unit clinical leader, like many other nurse managers, encouraged her staff to participate and put her full support behind them taking the opportunity to take a break and create in place.

“The Mother/Baby Unit absolutely loved being part of this project. The nurses and staff had an amazing time and it gave them a nice creative outlet and de-stressor during their downtime,” Pruitt said. “This was definitely the topic of conversation this week and it was neat to see the creative and artistic talents within our unit.”

Pruitt added that the act of creating art brought her staff closer together.

However, it wasn’t only nurses who participated in the activity. The pharmacy team in the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital heard about the project and were excited to participate. Bonnie Garland, CPhT, RPhT, UF Health Pharmacy technician, wanted her coworkers to all have rocks to paint so that they could better practice self-care on the job.

“We tell ourselves and others that we’re just too busy to do things that nourish us, whether it’s something fun and creative like this, or going to a yoga class. We don’t take time to take care of ourselves,” Garland said. “But I loved this rock-painting activity because it doesn’t take long, you can do it by yourself and get real contemplative, or you can have fun with it with a group of friends. In the end, you have something beautiful that you can treasure or share with others.”

352Creates celebrates people who incorporate creativity into their daily lives because research supports the health benefits of engaging in the creative process.

For more information about 352Creates, visit 352creates.com, connect on social media platforms, share your activities using hashtag #352Creates and stay tuned for updates on the UF Health Bridge, Shands News and Doctor Gator.

About the Author

John Kieslich's picture

John Kieslich

Operations Assistant

John currently serves as the operations assistant for UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine (AIM) triaging patient referrals, engaging the community in 352Creates (an Arts & Health initiative engaging 14...Read More

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