Should nurses be able to listen to music at work? - page 2

On numerous occasions, I've observed nurses playing music from their computers. Some of them are managers, which doesn't necessarily concern me since they aren't directly caring for patients. ... Read More

  1. by   RockinNurse2018
    Quote from Lennonninja
    I loved playing music at the bedside in the ICU whenever possible. I would ask families what the patient liked to listen to, and for bath time I would find a station on my Amazon Music app on my phone that coincided with the patient's preferences and play that. I cared for extremely high acuity patients in the ICU, and my brain works well when combining music with my detail oriented work. Our tvs also had a relaxation station that played classical and relaxing music along with nice scenery and I played it for my patients most of the time. If I were the patient, I would much prefer to hear music rather than all of the beeps and alarms in the ICU.
    Good point. Perhaps the nurse was jammin to some tunes they knew the patient enjoyed or maybe it actually helps them, like for you. I was just thinking that I tend to get distracted when I listen to music, so I'm worried that if I were in the ICU, I might miss something very important.
  2. by   RockinNurse2018
    Quote from AceOfHearts<3
    I'm in ICU and yes sometimes nurses will play some soft music on night shift- day shift tends to be too loud. I've helped other nurses clean and/or bathe patients and they've played music and I've done it myself too- we always asked the patients first and put on something fun and appropriate. I've also played some softly (you can't hear it unless you are right next to me) while watching my patient's monitors at the computer outside the room- there are times where it actually helps me concentrate and stay alert. I used to play music while studying. I had several playlists for work when I had a desk job in my career prior to nursing.
    I was worried the music could be a distraction but I can also see how it might keep you more alert, especially if not much is going on with your patient and you're trying not to fall asleep from staring at computer screens/monitors
  3. by   nursechini
    I spent time on a unit that had patients on many devices and they had ipads that they could give to the patients. There was one patient who had a stroke and wasn't able to speak but was nodding appropriately and communicated that he was bored and jazz music would be nice so we played that for him. Brought a lightness to the unit that was nice, so good for the patient and the staff.

    I also worked on a med-surg unit that was quiet toward the end of the day and the charge played motown at the nurses station. You could only hear it if you were very close to the desk. Music can be very therapeutic in high stress environments for the patients and for us.
  4. by   FurBabyMom
    As a floor nurse, we did sometimes play music for patients. We would if we knew it calmed them (think dementia patients, stroke or TBI patients, etc) or if they or their family members requested. I personally loved it when we did and I love music in general.

    I work in the OR now. Music is part of every day. There's very few surgeons who forbid music in their rooms and generally those situations are ones where patients are awake. Though, asking the patients for their preference and playing that is usually acceptable, provided it's not the one thing that people in the room can't stand. We have music throughout almost all cases, it's practically a requirement. Really the only time music is completely omitted is if I (or others) simply can't be bothered with it (things like a trauma or emergency case that isn't yet "settled", code, suspected MH, etc). If I (or my coworkers/others) think the music is a detriment we turn it off, very simple and it very rarely happens. Turn down the volume? Absolutely. Off? Unlikely. To the poster who said that their patients are too sick for music to be around them and their caregivers and the music not serve as a distraction? I respectfully disagree.
  5. by   HeySis
    Quote from FurBabyMom
    I work in the OR now. Music is part of every day. There's very few surgeons who forbid music in their rooms and generally those situations are ones where patients are awake.

    Ah Yes, I go into the OR when I'm on call (I work PACU and the patent I'm waiting for is in the OR) to listen to some tunes and see what's going on. The anesthesiologist is usually in charge of the tunes and there is a speaker they can connect to to play them off their phones.

    We sometimes play music in the PACU. During the day when it gets busy you can't even hear it... If I'm with a patient in the bay near the music and it's too loud or distracting I just turn it down or off, but normally it just fades into the background if things get crazy.

    It would have to be pretty loud to not be able to hear the monitor alarms.
  6. by   Accolay
    We play music in our ICU on the night shift sometimes if it's kinda dead. Usually the computer speakers aren't very good and it's pretty quiet anyway, but if you can hear the beat from too far away we'll turn it down. It's somewhat in our culture to ask other nurses what they want to listen to, or maybe we have a theme or are sparking discussion with giving them something they haven't heard before.

    If it's busy, we aren't charting at the desk anyway.
  7. by   Sour Lemon
    I love music everywhere else, but at work (when I'm busy) I do find it extremely distracting. I tend to forget things and make more mistakes with my charting when it's "blaring" nearby. The person listening always thinks that it's quiet.
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Davey Do
    I play a soft jazz station on the radio while I'm passing meds. I'll play soft classical music while working the floor or sitting on a 1:1.

    I've never had any complaints from anybody, the patients seem to like it, and it keeps my right brain occupied so my left brain is in charge.

    Ambient music only!
    Your music would drive me stark raving bonkers. More noise pollution on top of the beeps and bongs and shrieking of alarms, demented patients and entitled family members. I probably would not complain to you about it, but I'd be stressed out and cranky if I couldn't take myself far enough away from you that I couldn't hear it. If we had side-by-side patients in the ICU, it would be very uncomfortable.
  9. by   Mavrick
    Just because somebody doesn't complain doesn't mean it's OK.

    People have many reasons not to complain directly. Some were taught it's not polite, some don't want to start an argument, some are afraid if they piss you off you will treat them poorly, some think it's none of their business.

    I don't always say something for some of these very reasons. I will however, stay away from these people or turn their music off when they leave the area.
  10. by   Here.I.Stand
    I work in an ICU and play music quite often -- usually the relaxation channel on the TV, or light classical or whatever CDs the spiritual care staff supplies. Some types of music are beneficial for mood and concentration; in fact my kids' teachers (in a very highly ranked district) have encouraged the use of appropriate music while studying.

    I do stay away from Western "classical" the likes of George Crumb or Karlheinz Stockhausen... although I may or may not have a recording of "Helikopter Quartett" at home. If you YouTube it you'll see what I mean. It's highly dissonant. Often times it doesn't have a naturally intuitive meter; for example 4/4 or 2/2 ONE two THREE four as in a march, or 3/4 ONE two three as in a waltz. Contemporary "classical" often uses an asymmetrical meter or NO meter. Instruments may be used in foreign ways; for example vocalising at the same times as playing a wind instrument. So that music can be VERY distracting. Lyrics, loud noises, etc can be distracting as well.

    Something like "light" classical -- medium tempo, not huge volume fluctuations, smaller orchestra, not percussive -- much better choice!

    For the pt, the ICU is an extremely loud environment. We have multiple IV pumps, codes, artifact alarming as VT, bad pleth alarming as a desat, PLUS true alarms, ventilator alarms.... and noise pollution is a huge risk factor for delirium -- sedated or no. Something like music can give pts a *pleasant* sound to counter all of that noise.
  11. by   RNperdiem
    Our patient TVs have a huge variety of music stations. Sometimes I will ask a patient if they want any music.
    I had a patient who was a big fan of gospel music, sometimes it is country oldies, soft rock whatever. I keep the sound level low, never turn it on at night and will mute it when doctors, PT or anyone else working with the patient comes in the room.
    If used with discretion, I am fine with a little music.
  12. by   Buckeye.nurse
    I've worked on several units in my nursing career that play music in the med room/supply room--usually top 40 hits or adult contemporary type stuff. It's a nice break for a few minutes from the chaos and stress outside those doors.

    At the nurses station, we rarely if ever play music on day shift. There's too much going on, and too much getting up and sitting back down for it to really matter. At night, some nurses find it helps them stay awake, and usually the nurses working vote on what to play.

    As for the patients themselves, we have several relaxation channels to pick from on the TV. My hospital also has a music therapy department that RNs can consult for their patients if they feel it will be helpful for them. The department also sponsors live music in the lobby. Several years ago, the unit I was working on at the time had a patient with Huntington's disease. She would get really stressed out, but would calm down and smile to Lady Gaga or Michael Jackson. I've also had several patients request that I play certain radio stations for them on their tablet.

    Overall it's a really specific situation that depends on the mood and personalities of both the patients and the nurses working. But in general, I feel that music can be very therapeutic/helpful, and YES I feel nurses (using their clinical judgement) should be able to listen to music at work.
  13. by   It'sYaGirlK
    I wish I could play music while doing patient care on my Bluetooth but I like my job so no music for me! I do feel that music should be played in the break room it's soo soothing and that would be a nice break away from the chaos of providing care

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