AUHS Professor Yuki Toyooka and her Art 300 Medical Illustrations class.

AUHS Professor Yuki Toyooka and her Art 300 Medical Illustrations class.

Nursing students from American University of Health Sciences (AUHS) gathered in their Medical Illustrations class to admire one another’s works of art. The classroom walls came alive with pencil drawings of a boy walking through a long and lonely road, a U.S. veteran saluting his flag, a veiled woman holding a severed heart in her hand, and much more. AUHS Professor Yuki Toyooka and her Art 300 class held the annual Artology show on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, on AUHS campus. The theme for this quarter’s Artology show was self-realization.There are many people who believe that nurses only have to be concerned with science and mathematics and that art was unnecessary. However, Toyooka believed that art is therapeutic and could be used as a means for nurses to better understand their patients.

“When you become a nurse you always have to think about what the other person’s thinking. You cannot be selfish or stubborn about your opinion,” said Toyooka, “I think art definitely helps you to have a flexible mind and allows you to have good communication with others.”

Toyooka selected the top three drawings from the class and awarded the artists with gift certificates. Reggie Del Rosario from Cohort 19 was awarded 7th place for “Best Works” in the Artology show. His concept of self-realization was to draw a picture of himself removing a mask.

“For as long as I could remember, I would have different personalities and I would have to put on a different face for everybody,” said Del Rosario, “When I finished high school, I was able to take off the mask and show who I really was. I didn’t have to please anybody.”

This was Del Rosario’s first art class and he feels he has grown not only as an artist but as a nurse as well. The class inspired him to go art shows and give him the ability to talk to other people about art.

“At first I didn’t realize why we, as nursing students, had to take art. I just thought it was an elective,” said Del Rosario, “But then I realized, there is an art to everything. You can’t just inject a patient carelessly. You have to do it carefully, like an artist.”

AUHS nursing student Mika Carrillo from Cohort 19 won third place at the artology show. Her drawing was inspired by her time at AUHS and is a reflection of her journey of becoming a nurse. Carrillo’s drew a self portrait of her wearing her nursing uniform and sunglasses.

“The reflection on the left side (of the sunglasses) revolves on the reality of nursing school. It’s just me, really tired and exhausted,” said Carrillo, “On the right side is how I hope to be in the future- to be a successful nurse.”

On the right side of Carrillo’s drawing, there is a hand surrounded in the words “love,” “friends,” and “family” reaching to her.

“The hand represents support from my boyfriend, friends and family because throughout all this, they are the ones I need to thank so much because they are the ones who have been supporting me and encouraging me through my journey,” Carrillo said, “AUHS has been a huge part of my life but what also matters is that despite the hardships I had, it’s important to remember the people who get you through it.”

Carrillo enjoyed Toyooka’s class and said it was “very relaxing.” She used to draw anime when she was younger and Carillo was happy to become creative again.

“For me art is therapeutic so me doing this on the side also helps me to relax. I draw when I take a break from studying for my nursing classes,” Carrillo said.

The first place winner of the artology show was Emmanuelle De Castro from Cohort 19. De Castro drew the heads of two women, back-to-back. On the left side of the drawing, she drew a woman with her eyes closed, head down and had a melancholic expression on her face. She also drew dark clouds, rain and a wilted flower on the left side of the page.

On the right side of De Castro’s illustration, she drew a woman with her eyes open, had her head held high and had a strong, confident expression on her face. There was also a rose in full bloom and sunlight breaking through the clouds.

“I basically drew what people typically think and go through in life. Even though you’re the strongest person in the world, you will cry sometimes,” said De Castro, “On the left side, it represents how everything goes wrong in life. On the right side, she’s looking up. She’s ready to face whatever challenges there are in life. It means the road is not going to be smooth but we just have to keep going.”

De Castro believed that “nursing is a passion” and people who want to become a nurse should not do it solely for the money. She thinks nurses should have the same passion for their patients the same way an artist is passionate for creating art. Just like art, nursing is also about making a connection with others.

AUHS is a private, for-profit, minority owned, minority serving, Christian-based university whose mission is to educate and equip students with life careers and to produce quality health care professionals for the community, the nation, and the world. It is a university where appreciation of life and one’s spiritual reason for existence can be nurtured.
AUHS offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) and a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR). To request more information, email or call (562) 988-2278. For the latest news, pictures and videos of American University of Health Sciences’ events, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AUHS_Campus and Instagram @auhsedu.