She uses her unique talent to illustrate new workflows and processes, plus bring much joy to patients and staff!

Michelle Smith, Andrea Borrows, Employee

Photo of Nurse Andrea posing next to her final, completed artwork at the West Michigan Chalk Art Festival.

A message From Michelle, Clinical Nurse Leader in the Bronson Methodist Hospital Emergency Department

Andrea is the nurse manager in our Emergency Department. In addition to being an excellent nurse, she is a skilled artist. She uses this unique talent at work to help her team learn new process and workflows, as well as bring joy and boost morale amongst both teammates and patients.

A few examples of how she has used art in the ED include:

  1. She created a computer pictograph image to help staff understand patient placement in hallway beds.
  2. She often draws images on our ED huddle board to illustrate a teaching moment or build morale.
  3. She draws on the radiology team’s huddle board to make the team smile, often including an encouraging message.
  4. She painted a watercolor giraffe print for her admin whose child is in Africa for missionary work.
  5. Our patient storytelling project: She wrote the intro for the work and drew a pencil drawing to display with the patient and staff photos.
  6. Every Nurses’ Week and ER Week, she and her leadership team come up with a handmade gift (handmade rice heat packs, hot chocolate bombs, etc.), often with artwork or a handmade card to support her team.

This is only a short list. There are so many other examples of her artistic contributions to our team!

A Message From Andrea, Nurse Manager in the Bronson Methodist Hospital Emergency Department

Creating art has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you a children’s book illustrator. I’m not sure why I never pursued art as a career, maybe it’s that whole “starving artist” idea. Instead I decided to pursue my passion of science and helping others, so I became a nurse.

I’ve found art is a great way to communicate with others.

Art is still a big part of my life today. It’s something I deeply enjoy doing outside of work. But, I’m thankful I have also had the opportunity to find ways to incorporate my art into the work I do here at Bronson. In healthcare, we work in a very left brained environment but we aren’t all left brained. Some people don’t retain information shared in text documents. Some people benefit from the addition of creative right brain communications. A simple drawing on the huddle board, a creative PowerPoint, or an iMovie may be just the thing to grab someone’s attention and give them something to hold onto.

I like to share my artwork in hopes of lifting spirits and helping others escape the stress of the day.

Not all my artwork here at Bronson has business purpose. I also like to share my artwork in hopes of lifting spirits and helping others escape the stress of the day, even if just for a moment. I have had several pieces displayed in the hallways of Bronson as part of the Employee Art Exhibit. I’ve also done several paintings for co-workers to hang in their offices.

The simplest, and maybe most impactful, art I have added to the wall spaces at Bronson have been the drawings I have done outside inpatient CT. For a period of time I passed by this empty whiteboard hanging outside a leaders office. I had the urge to draw something on the blank canvas. One day I asked the leader if I could draw a picture on their whiteboard. She said she never uses it and I could draw on it whenever I wanted. So I started drawing pictures. Staff walking through the hallway started noticing the drawings and telling that leader how much they loved them and looked forward to seeing them. She would tell me about the comments people were making and how much joy my artwork was bringing to others. So I kept drawing…

Healthcare has been an extremely tough place to work over the years. I’m thankful I have been able to share my artwork with others here at Bronson.

My hope is that my art will continue to bring joy to others and make someone’s day a little brighter.

Andrea Competed in the West Michigan Chalk Art Festival, Taking Home 1st Place in the Health & Wellness Category!

I recreated a photograph of a tree frog clinging to the stem of a flower. The frog is using the flower to shelter itself from a storm. I chose this photograph because mental wellness is extremely important to everyone’s overall health and wellbeing. It’s been a long and difficult few years for a lot of people. Many are struggling with their mental health. The more we can talk about mental health the better off we will all be. This piece will hopefully show that it’s ok to not be ok. Just don’t give up.

I was a little nervous since this was my first time doing sidewalk chart art. As an added bonus, I even won the award for Best Use of Wellness Theme! The best part of the weekend was hearing the comments from the onlookers. Many thanked me for doing a piece that supports mental health awareness. One teen even stopped and said, “I really needed to see and read that today. Thank you.”

Photo of the early stages of Andrea's chalk artwork design.

Photo of Andrea working on her chalk art design at the West Michigan Chalk Art Festival.

Photo of Andrea working on her chalk art design at the West Michigan Chalk Art Festival.

Photo of Nurse Andrea's artwork at the West Michigan Chalk Art Festival.