1. Weaver, Kendra DNP, RN, CRNP
  2. Roche, Cathy C. PhD, RN

Article Content

Drawing can stimulate the brain, enhance memory, and aid in concentration.1 Our cardiovascular drawing activity took place after students completed assigned readings, attended lecture, and watched a demonstration of a cardiovascular health assessment. The activity required basic supplies-butcher paper, markers, and items to label/draw. Students divided into groups of 3 to 4 each and traced the outline of 1 student onto butcher paper. Students then drew an anatomically accurate mediastinum within the traced outline. Groups labeled cardiovascular structures and their functions and used red and blue markers to illustrate flow of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood (Photos 1 and 2, Supplemental Digital Content,, For example, when specifying valve function, students deduced that the aortic and pulmonic valves opened during systole while the tricuspid and mitral valves opened during diastole. When labeling the point of maximal intensity, students identified its anatomical location-the fifth intercostal space, left midclavicular line. Following the cardiovascular drawing activity, faculty supervised student practice of the cardiovascular health assessment. Glaser2 describes how the mind becomes attentive when drawing an object and how that act allows one to grasp concepts. Students stated that they were surprised how such a simple activity helped them more effectively process the cardiovascular assessment, which illustrates Glaser's theory. Drawing anatomical structures can provide an opportunity for students to comprehend cardiovascular anatomy.




1. Andrade J. What does doodling do? Appl Cogn Psychol. 2010;24:100-106. [Context Link]


2. Glaser M. Drawing Is Thinking. 1st ed. New York: Overlook Press; 2008. [Context Link]