June 28, 2011

"Redesigning Cancer": Hospital gowns with style and function in mind

The Family and Consumer Science Department donated several new and improved hospital gowns to the Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in a ceremony on Sunday afternoon at the Ball State Museum of Art. The immersive learning project, titled "Redesigning Cancer," used a $17,000 grant to create 200 prototypes — 40 gowns for each of the five designs.

The design students interviewed patients in the oncology unit, getting their input on what the patients would like to see in a hospital gown and finding ways to incorporate the patients' medical needs, such as easy accessibility for nurses to IVs and tubing, with their desires for modesty and style.

As part of the immersive learning experience, the students are responsible for every aspect of the project, including ordering the hundreds of yards of material necessary for the gowns. Overseeing the "Redesigning Cancer" project are instructors Valerie Birk and Trenton Bush of the Family and Consumer Science Department.

Read more at TheStarPress.com, the BSU Daily News, and the BSU NewsCenter

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