- To be considered a superhero should one possess unearthly mutant powers, such as Wolverine death-defying claws, the Flash lighting speed or Wonder Woman ability to repel bullets? Or can a superhero simply, be a doctor, nurse or a RN at a local-community hospital? The NYC OpenIDEO Nurses Matter Too pop-up workshop, group members' Carson (Transportation Engineer), Luti (Transportation Engineer), Roland (Artist and Production Manager) and Lorain (Graphic Designer) tested this definition.
The design team used muslin, neon turkey feathers, pipe cleaners and safety pins to craft a prototype of a superhero cape. The cape would not only function as a garment but a wearable coloring book that is used as a tool to share fears, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Hospital personnel would wear the cape while caring for children patients. In the duration of care, if the patient exhibits any signs of emotive distress, caretakers would provide a Superhero Kit. The kit contains: two white-canvas capes, one for the caretaker and one for the child, along with various art supplies. The doctor, nurse or RN sports the cape while encouraging the patient to draw on it. The patient is prompted to express how they feel visually, whereas the hospital personal will do the same, thus creating a bond between the patient and the care taker.
The coloring book cape represents the caretaker as a superhero or in this OpenIDEO workshop session, a Nurse. A nurse is, like Batman, Iron man and many superheroes, mortal- who are vulnerable to their emotions. The nurse, day to day wrestles the rigors of the universes of medical care. It takes superhuman strength to express this vulnerability, especially when nurses are perceived by society, to uphold a quality of concealing their emotions so they can perform the tasks’ of their jobs. A superhero' nurse admirable virtue is their mortal "weaknesses" which is their passionate quality to provide care, connect and have compassion for their patients.