The department of nursing education at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y., and North Central Bronx (N.Y.) Hospital recently sponsored an educational program at Jacobi on music therapy, highlighting its many benefits and uses. The program Music as a Therapeutic Approach to Patient Care was simulcast to North Central Bronx Hospital and served as nursing grand rounds for the hospitals.
Music can be used as an adjunct therapy to improve patient comfort and influence patient recovery, said Lynette Livermore, RN, MSN, CCRN, associate director of nursing education at North Bronx Healthcare Network, part of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.
Citing various studies in her presentation, Livermore explained the many ways music therapy assists in the health and healing of hospitalized patients, including activating the flow of stored memory. Music connects human beings, for example, when a mother sings a lullaby to her baby, Livermore said. Mom sings the lullaby, and the baby associates the music with the mom, who symbolizes goodness, love and safety. Music triggers memories from different times in our lives.The Lascivious Biddies, from left, include Deidre Rodman, Lee Ann Westover and Saskia Lane, who performed at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y.
Livermore also explained how music is used as a distraction to help patients deal with pain. Research shows music releases endorphins, and slows breathing and heart rate, she said. Studies completed in India and West Virginia concluded patients exposed to music therapy expressed a decrease in their pain levels compared to a control group who did not. Livermore also discussed how music decreases anxiety levels in patients, citing six articles of research.
The grand rounds concluded with a panel discussion during which attendees asked questions and gave examples of how music therapy has helped their patients. The panel included members of the Lascivious Biddies Saskia Lane, Lee Ann Westover and Deidre Rodman a professional musical group with the Musical Connections Program at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and Bronx Healthcare Network staff members Livermore and Gary Hara, associate director of therapeutic activities and behavioral health service.
The day ended with musical selections by the Lascivious Biddies, who perform for patients at the Association for the Help of Retarded Children in Manhattan. It works as a way to connect with people who cant communicate normally, Lane said.