Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D. Blog

Thoughts and ideas on healthcare

Hi, and welcome to my blog! I'm Susan E. Mazer -- a knowledge expert and thought leader on how the environment of care impacts the patient experience. Topics I write about include safety, satisfaction, hospital noise, nursing, care at the bedside, and much more.

Nature and Music: Primary to the Patient Experience

July 11, 2014

water falls and canyons

I have written many times about the value of music and nature at the bedside and how it impacts the patient experience.  However, I am not sure the nature of academic writing conveys what actually happens for patients and families.

Their stories (so many of which have been shared with us) describe transformative moments that no scholarly paper or study can express.

To put things into perspective, we are not easily found (by design).  The C.A.R.E. Channel broadcast does not promote our company beyond the logo and copyright that appear for a few seconds at the end of each hour.  So, for a patient to find us takes real work.

Here is a sampling of the hundreds of stories we’ve been privileged to hear from patients, family members, and staff:

“Tonight, I visited for a while with a young woman who has experienced much abuse in her life, and who entered the hospital last week with chest pain. When she came into her room, she saw stars shooting across the TV screen and she burst into tears. She came to discover that The C.A.R.E. Channel has been very helpful during her stay. She turned to it both to calm her fears, and also to tap her emotions and help her to cry. In such a short time, The C.A.R.E. Channel has been making a very powerful impact here.”

“My dad absolutely loves The C.A.R.E. Channel. He’s 93 with dementia and doesn’t like to watch TV. But he watched C.A.R.E. while in the hospital. His eyes were glued to the television. The nature scenes are so beautiful and calming, and having been a nature photographer, and lover of the outdoors, the scenes just captivated him. We are so grateful to have found something he enjoys. Thank you C.A.R.E Channel for bringing some joy back into my dad’s life!”

“My Mother spent over a week in the hospital, during which we learned her breast cancer has returned and metastasized to her lungs. She is estimated to have just months, and has been returned home to her apartment at an assisted living facility.  She LOVED The C.A.R.E. channel. I was surprised to see her consistently tuning away from other channels she used to watch – she really benefited from the beautiful video and lovely music.  Is there ANY way I can get this C.A.R.E. channel for her in her apartment?  Please. I need to make her remaining time as beautiful as possible.”

And just this morning, a gentleman whose father had been in one of our hospice client facilities, expressed how much he loved “the peaceful experience you helped provide at the end of my Dad’s life.”  So, how do we quantify this experience or measure what cannot be measured?

Several white papers I have written bring scholarship into the dialogue about how the patient’s micro-environment, often limited to the edge of his or her bed, impacts patient outcomes.  However, neither studies nor reporting can express what actually happens in moments when no one is the room except the patient, the family member, or the loved one.

In those intimate moments when what is actually experienced can be silent suffering and fear, a patient can be swaddled in beauty, can be soothed by melody, and can remember what makes life worth living.

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