Recently, I was doing rounds to visit with staff and patients and had the opportunity to run into something totally unexpected – a spectacular mural covering the walls and ceilings of two pre-operatory rooms in same-day surgery. I was quickly greeted by some of the department’s nursing team who shared with me that one of their own nurses, Terry Harver, RN, painted these to brighten up the area for pediatric patients. It took her over 22 hours to paint it. It was a great reminder that we have so much hidden talent and creativity on the Chippenham & Johnston-Willis (CJW) team. I am fortunate to see the healthcare-related talents of our team every day, but I don’t often get to see a totally different talent like artistic ability.
Terry grew up nearby in Crewe, Virginia and has been a nurse with us since graduating nursing school in 1977. She has worked in several other areas of CJW including Chippenham’s ER and Johnston’s Willis’s Women’s unit. I asked her about her interest in painting and she shared that she wanted to go to art school when she was young but her father got sick and disabled so she had to change paths. She was inspired to become a nurse because her grandmother and role model, was an RN.
In recent years Terry has spent a lot more of her free time painting mostly still-life with pets and landscapes with oils and pastels. She especially enjoys doing murals for children’s bedrooms and other locations. Her artwork has been shown in the Chesterfield and Amelia libraries. Recently, she donated a piece to the March of Dimes auction that helped fund scholarships. She was quick to share that as she gets older her abilities have gotten better and she plans to do this in retirement as both a hobby and a business.
Terry was inspired to paint the CJW murals to create a comforting and distracting atmosphere because she knows that children often come in afraid and anxious. Patients get to choose which of the two rooms they would like to wait in for their surgery. Her hope is that it gives them something else to think about during that stressful time. The response has been incredible with people quickly becoming a fan of her work and the new look in the department. Her next project in same-day surgery is a “tree of knowledge” in the staff rooms. She is asking the staff to tell her which kind of bird they would like to be represented by on the mural.
I asked her why she likes to paint and she responded simply, “I like the creativity. It is an amazing opportunity to give of yourself and allows me to leave a legacy for my children.”
So this week Cheers to Terry for contributing to CJW in a way that we will enjoy for many years to come. If you are interested in talking to her about her work she can be reached at 804-356-1306.