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Should nurses be able to listen to music at work?

Nurses   (15,533 Views | 117 Replies)
by RockinNurse2018 RockinNurse2018 (Member)

RockinNurse2018 has 1 years experience and specializes in Geriatrics w/rehab, LTC, hospice patient.

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WestCoastSunRN has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CVICU, MICU, Burn ICU.

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In our ICU, we play music -- if/when we can ask the patient, we play what he/she wants .... or we ask the family. Sometimes we have to guess. Sometimes it's not music but a TV station. When we have to turn it off bc it's distracting and we are trying to think, we do. There is so much dehumanization in an ICU -- both for patients and staff, music helps us remember we are human. It's never been an issue if a nurse or doc needed to turn it off. We don't rock out when we're resuscitating people. I'd wager a lot of the time the patient's taste in music is different than the nurse's. Oh well. It's about them, not us.

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Leader25 has 35 years experience.

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Damn you are stressed and judgemental phew, have drink or a chocolate stop eating thorns.I find music better than off key humming though.And I have worked fast paced ICU also. It is whatever floats your boat. Sometimes I just stick the old steth in my ears.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

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Do you seriously think that people are incapable of doing both? I doubt people are rocking out to death metal. Soft music isn't going to interfere with one's ability to hear alarms unless they already have a hearing problem (from the death metal). Now headphones are another story.

We've fired people for wearing headphones at work as well. The problem is, they were ignoring lights and alarms, and they were wearing the headphones while interacting with patients and family members. The patients and family members are the ones who complained. People may be capable of hearing call lights, alarms and the confused patient yelling "Help! Help!" But they weren't responding to them. I think it's a real issue.

My informal, anecdotal and totally unscientific poll of the nurses with whom I work regularly confirms what I thought to begin with: those who are listening to music (or, even worse, watching Netflix) aren't the ones to jump up and answer the call lights, deal with the alarms or check on the confused patients. Instead, they continue to sit while someone else does the above. For that reason alone, our manager has banned listening to music at work.

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10 Followers; 3,567 Posts; 25,899 Profile Views

We've fired people for wearing headphones at work as well. The problem is, they were ignoring lights and alarms, and they were wearing the headphones while interacting with patients and family members. The patients and family members are the ones who complained. People may be capable of hearing call lights, alarms and the confused patient yelling "Help! Help!" But they weren't responding to them. I think it's a real issue.

My informal, anecdotal and totally unscientific poll of the nurses with whom I work regularly confirms what I thought to begin with: those who are listening to music (or, even worse, watching Netflix) aren't the ones to jump up and answer the call lights, deal with the alarms or check on the confused patients. Instead, they continue to sit while someone else does the above. For that reason alone, our manager has banned listening to music at work.

I hope you noticed that I wasn't supporting wearing headphones. That is definitely crossing a line. I'm sorry you work with a bunch of lazy, immature twits. I can assure you that having music on does not in any way make me work less. In fact, it energizes me.

And Netflix?!! You have got to be kidding me!:no:

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13 Followers; 4,056 Posts; 31,382 Profile Views

Anyway, just want to also say that the title of this thread bothers me a bit. "Should nurses be able to..."

Ditto.

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis.

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If the music is at an audible level for patients to hear I wouldn't have a problem if it's music that the patient likes. I work in a SNF and sometimes the best way to sooth an agitated resident is with some music from their era. Big band music as well as Frank Sinatra radio are usually hits. One lovely little lady that is decidedly tone deaf will belt out Christmas carols at the top of her lungs any time we put them on for her. Sure improves her mood, though it is pretty hard on our ears.

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Davey Do has 41 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

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Anyway, just want to also say that the title of this thread bothers me a bit. "Should nurses be able to..." It sounds like we're a bunch of little kids that need permission to do anything, no matter how trivial.

The computer charting we are required to do causes me to feel like I need its permission to do my job.

It's like we can't make professional decisions on own, and we need a computer program to tell us what to do if an assessment has grave findings.

It's like the computer program's goal is to fix stupid.

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Glycerine82 has 4 years experience as a ASN, LPN and specializes in SNF/Rehab/Geri.

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Music actually helps me focus, but of course It would need to be appropriate and in the appropriate setting. No heavy metal around a 90 y/o, for example. I would say as long as the nurse is using good judgement for their situation and patient population it shouldn't be an issue.

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Glycerine82 has 4 years experience as a ASN, LPN and specializes in SNF/Rehab/Geri.

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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.

I've had so many patients absolutely light up when music from their era is played. It's magical therapy.

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NurseCard has 13 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

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I just changed job and work in a small office part of the time. My cubicle-mate (we are within 3 feet of each other) has a radio on the entire day. I find it very difficult to concentrate let alone talk on the phone (which is part of my job).

I'm truly ready to quit over the issue.

When i worked my entire day in the ED, we ran around way too much to listen to music plus there was always something else going on....

I was told I could play my music at a... reasonable.. level...

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HermioneG has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency Nursing.

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I usually don't mind it, but I did become very frustrated the other day with it. A dear coworker of mine who I love a lot was blasting (yes... blasting) music. It was difficult to concentrate, but most importantly it was so loud that you couldn't hear the alarms on the patient monitors. Consequently, patients were left to lay next to aggravating alarms for very long periods of time for something simple like a cardiac lead sticking to their gown rather than their chest. Not to mention, of course, how bad it would've been had it been a critical situation and we didn't hear the monitor alarm.

I usually don't mind it, but it really bothers me if its presence decreases patient care. To me, it's unacceptable to let a patient lay there for hours on end next to a beeping machine.. and that is something I've seen before, music or not. It's unfair to the patient, and to others around them. It's also something that is such a simple fix, you just have to be diligent about it.

Basically, if the nurse can hear the monitors and is on top of it then fine. But if it's presence means the nurse can't hear the monitors, or if the nurse is using it to tune out when their patient goes to CT and everything is blaring because the nurse doesn't want get up and put the monitor on standby, then yes it bothers me a lot.

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Like perfumes and odors from hair products, laundry products, and the million and one other things we have to smell these days, music is probably best omitted from the work area, as someone is bound to find it disturbing.

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