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Blue tears. Devil horns. Dazed eyes.

These artistic features drawn by young patients with diabetes can reveal thoughts and feelings that may be hard to verbalize, according to a recent pilot study by University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing assistant professor Kathy Elertson.

The research, published in the Journal of Patient Experience, is featured in the new issue of the college’s CONtact magazine.

“We are determining if the drawings are a good mechanism for the youth to share how they are feeling, providing a starting point for discussion,” Elertson said. “We don’t want to just treat their numbers and their sugars but also take a closer look at the whole person. The youth need to know they are so much more than their numbers.”

The 2017 edition of CONtact also features stories about UW Oshkosh’s first class of nurse anesthetist students, powerful clinical partnerships that offer students a wide range of experiences, and an array of global connections that take nursing students abroad.

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