Benefits for patients, visitors, & staff
Therapeutic music at the bedside benefits all types of patients as well as the people who support them.
Benefits to patients in all conditions
Live, acoustic music can benefit any patient who is able to hear or feel the vibration of sound. Unlike music therapy, a patient receiving therapeutic music does not play or sing along.
This means that patients in a coma, women in labor, infants and preemies, the actively dying, patients with severe burns, and other patients for whom it is painful or impossible to move can all benefit from music at the bedside.
Some studies suggest that patients can also benefit from receiving music at the bedside while undergoing a procedure. Therapeutic music can distract from painful dressing changes. It can relax muscles and blood vessels to help with inserting an IV or passing a Foley catheter. Additional benefits:
Lower blood pressure
Higher pain tolerance
A boost to the immune system
Distraction from hospital noise and activity in general
Read some of the research that supports healing music.
Benefits to visitors and caregivers
Patients can receive a therapeutic music session while visitors are present. The patient’s friends and family might also be exhausted, anxious, and stressed. Even though the focus of the session is on the patient, the music can still help relax others who hear it.
There can be a compounding effect as well. The visitors relax more from seeing the patient relax, and the patient relaxes even more from seeing their visitors relax.
Friends and family might be present at the bedside of someone who is dying. Seeing the effect of the music on their loved one helps to create a healing environment for those left behind.
Benefits to healthcare staff
Although the full benefit of live music at the bedside goes to the patient who is the focus of the service, sound travels. Staff who are attending the patient or the patient’s roommate, or other staff who are nearby, can feel some of the music’s soothing effects.
The staff also benefit from the results that the patient experiences. When a patient who was acting out calms down, when a patient who was in great pain finally falls asleep, then the staff have less work to do and feel less stress themselves.