Using Music Therapy in Nursing Care
Kristine Carpina, LPN, is a clinical care supervisor at Huger Mercy Living Center. Read on to learn about her perspective for caring for people with Alzheimer’s and the potential for music therapy to increase their quality of life.
From working at Huger Mercy Living Center, I see the struggle whole families goes through when a resident is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I say family and not only resident because Alzheimer’s disease affects everyone that’s connected to the resident. Through the Music & Memory project, I wanted to learn techniques and tactics to care for our residents with music therapy.
Nurses are the eyes and the ears for most care interventions. We know our residents individually - their behaviors, their moods and their routines. Our team was able to watch what was happening around us while considering every part of the disease (i.e. behaviors, moods) and evaluate ways in which the solutions from the project could benefit the residents.
My team is anyone that has any connection to the residents. All of us here in Huger, from the manager to the maintenance engineer, to the family and friends that visit are part of the team. This include doctors, nurses, outside vendors such as hairdressers, yoga instructors and entertainers.
It allowed me to see a different side of my patients. I think here at Huger we have always used music in some way as part of our therapy and intervention, since we are an activity based facility. But the project was a great study for us to be a part of because it gave us so many more ideas for interventions and applications of music therapy.
Nurses have to think fast, while being safe and coming up with a solution all at the same time.
There are many needs to be met and I think we are becoming very creative when it comes to finding solutions. I have a friend who was a nurse before becoming a clothing designer in the Philippines who designed “on-the go” pants for people who wear catheters. Even when you are not working actively in the field, there is always a way to bring your nursing perspective into your work.
Learn more about the Music & Memory project.