The Art and Science of Nursing Practice
by Dr Anita Bamford-Wade, DNurs, MA, Dip Bus, RN
Back in 1997, when I was working as a Director of Nursing of a large tertiary hospital I was aware that the only place in the entire building with any ambience was the Nurses Chapel. The north facing wall of the chapel comprised of very beautiful stain glass windows. However, the remainder of the hospital was very old. There had been talk of replacing the buildings for 30 years and they were badly in need of repair. The walls were bare. My office was situated on the “main corridor” which was approximately one mile in length. This corridor was the main entrance into the hospital with hundreds of people walking it every day.
The Head of the Design School at one of the universities in the city was a sister of one of the nurses and was looking for assignments for her students. She suggested that a student follow a nurse or midwife for a semester with the intention of capturing the art and science of their practice through photography. In total approximately 12 students adopted a nurse or midwife. At the end of the semester the students had to produce a photographic exhibition of their work. Their work was exhibited on the “main corridor”. The photography had captured the essence of practice and was both breathtakingly beautiful and inspiring. The exhibition attracted much attention from the public from the smallest child to the aged, stooping to look at the photographs which we had been block mounted on A3. The nurses and midwives were delighted with the results also. We decided to make the exhibition permanent as it had created atmosphere on the “main corridor” and made visible the work of nurses and midwives-work that usually happens behind closed curtains.
Duke, J & Bamford,A (2003). Wellington Hospital 2002: A photographic Essay