Supervisors

When a new artist/organization starts work in a new setting, much can be gained from having a supervisor to support their work. Especially in healthcare environments such as hospitals, the supervisor can form the bridge between the healthcare professionals and the artist. For example, if a musician is performing in the day room of a patient ward in a hospital, the supervisor can ensure that the volume is appropriate, that the music is not disturbing any clinicians or patients who might be sleeping, and that those who want to come to the day room are aware the session is running and can join in. This bridge role can allow the artist the freedom to work in the moment with those who are in the session, without worrying about some of the external factors. If there is a project coordinator for a project, this may be a natural role for them. Alternatively, there may be a specific healthcare professional who wishes to take on this role. However, in settings that involve shift work or acute environments where this person may get called away, another supervisor may provide more consistency, with support from other individuals drawn on when they are available. A supervisor role could also be taken on by volunteers. Many hospitals and care homes have ‘friend’ or volunteer schemes with people undertaking training and then supporting projects on wards. If ‘friends’ or volunteers are involved in the project, this could mean that the supervisor role does not add further to the project budget. In some settings, it may not be permissible for an artist to be left alone with vulnerable participants or those with complex needs, or more complex police checks may be required, in which case a fully vetted and trained supervisor is essential. More details on this topic are provided in Chapter 8.

 
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