Should nurses be able to listen to music at work?

  1. 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. However, the other night, I noticed an ICU nurse playing music. The patient they were monitoring was obviously severely ill...on ECMO, CRRT, ventilator, many drips, tube feedings, etc. This did not seem safe to me, as music can be a distraction and with very critical patients, you need to be on top of all things at all times. What are your thoughts?
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  2. 109 Comments

  3. by   TriciaJ
    My first question is: who else can hear the music and is it to their liking? Can the patient hear it? Does the patient have the ability to ask that it be turned off if he can't stand it?
  4. by   RockinNurse2018
    Quote from TriciaJ
    My first question is: who else can hear the music and is it to their liking? Can the patient hear it? Does the patient have the ability to ask that it be turned off if he can't stand it?
    No one else can hear it if the door is shut. The patient is sedated and therefore unable to communicate (and therefore unable to request it be turned off) but presumably probably could still hear.
  5. by   TigraRN
    In most cases I don't like working next to somebody who is playing music. I find it distracting for myself and hard to concentrate on patient care.
  6. by   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!
  7. by   Hygiene Queen
    When I worked geropsych, I played music all the time. Do you know how soothing Marvin Gaye is? The patients loved hearing music... so did I. It soothed me!

    There were nurses elsewhere in the hospital that I noticed played music quietly for themselves on their phones. Again, it was soothing.

    If what we were playing bothered the patients, we turned it off. We also switched it if it was inappropriate like the time I realized we were playing, "Dang me! Dang me! They oughta take a rope and hang me! From the highest treeeeeeeeeeeeee...."

    It never was a distraction and it was usually welcome, but we weren't in an ICU.
    Last edit by Hygiene Queen on Feb 10 : Reason: spelling
  8. by   applewhitern
    It drives me insane when someone either plays music, or sings/hums when I'm working. Of course, I work in an ICU and need to be attentive at all times. The humming irritates me badly! When someone is humming while presumably working, I think they must not have a thought in their head! Drives me crazy.
  9. by   klone
    Has anyone else noticed the irony of RockinNurse being upset that other nurses are rockin'?
  10. by   canoehead
    If its not bothering anyone else, and the nurse does a decent job, I don't care if they play death metal. If someone else has to listen to it, then that's another thing.
  11. by   klone
    A someone with ADD, I need music in order to concentrate. Luckily, I have my own office, so I can play Pandora to my heart's content.

    As long as it's quiet, I wouldn't care if a coworker chose to listen to music at their computer. If it's music I like, it doesn't even need to be particularly quiet, as long as it is not so loud that we can't speak in a normal tone of voice or hear alarms.
  12. by   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.
  13. by   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.
  14. by   RockinNurse2018
    Quote from klone
    Has anyone else noticed the irony of RockinNurse being upset that other nurses are rockin'?
    Lol, that's funny. I'm actually not upset, just was wondering if it was safe for the patient.

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