Nurse creates artwork from discarded medication vial caps – The Oakland Press

2022-05-28 18:48:52 By : Mr. Allen Bao

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People stop and stare at an 8-foot by 4-foot piece of art on the second floor of the south tower of Ascension Providence Hospital in Rochester.

Some think it’s a nice depiction of some flowers.

But the mosaic collection of about 7,000 discarded medication vial caps is actually an illustration of victory over COVID-19, according to the work’s creator.

The caps, in hundreds of different colors, shapes, sizes and textures, are arranged to depict how the body’s immune system attacks a virus, says Donna Dzialo, a nurse anesthetist at the hospital.

Dzialo, of Rochester, used a hot glue gun to create the piece on a large foam board.

A nurse for more than 20 years, she dug up her old immunology books to accurately depict antibodies, white blood cells and more.

She created the piece not only to demonstrate victory over COVID-19, but also to pay tribute to nurses and encourage young people to enter the field.

She’s proud that the piece is serving as an educational tool.

“It’s in a good place where people can see it,” she said. “Some people take pictures of it.”

She heard from co-workers that a hospital visitor who lost a loved one to COVID-19 asked to see the work and was inspired by it.

Recognizing the beauty in the caps, she started collecting them several years ago. Co-workers saved them for her. She placed bins around the hospital.

When the pandemic began, Dzialo’s hours at work were significantly reduced, as elective surgeries were canceled.

She cleaned off her pingpong table and started sorting caps. Her husband, Michael, and their teenagers, Stephen and Stephanie, pitched in. It was something the family could do together while the pandemic kept everyone at home.

“I burned my fingers a few times with the hot glue gun and we had a lot of carryout,” she said. “I’m proud of it. People tell me it’s beautiful.”

Her piece was originally displayed last fall at ArtPrize, an international competition in Grand Rapids. It was unveiled at the hospital in early May.

She’s proud that the project, titled “COVID Time CAPSule” allowed her to “up-cycle” materials that would have been tossed.

She hopes her piece inspires people to donate to nursing scholarships through the Ascension Providence Rochester Foundation. For more information, go to

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