Headphones for the patient undergoing surgery is a must! Why has it taken so long for the medical/surgical community to realize this? Surgeons have been using music for themselves, assuming that if the patient enjoys it, that would be nice, but not medically significant. Has there been a misunderstanding? No, I think it’s a matter of educating the patients, the doctors, and the hospital administrators. Surgeons have been choosing their preferred music in the OR for many decades now. Patients and administrators have assumed that the music would also be effective for them, especially since they would be asleep for most of that time.
But is that really the case? NO. When music is being played ambiently in the OR, through speakers on a nearby table or counter, speakers in the wall or ceiling, the patients may vaguely hear that music, but they also hear the conversations, the sounds of surgery (which might include drilling, sawing, and hammering!) and the beeping of various monitors in the OR! This is not soothing for the patient.
After over a decade of research, and patient/staff accounts, we know for sure, that when the patient puts on cordless, lightweight headphones that are pre-programmed with soothing, slow and rhythmic music, they do better. Why? Because the music that has been chosen is the ideal music to engage rhythmic entrainment and place the patient in a “sonic cocoon.” This keeps that patients heartrate and breathing synchronized to the music, and outside conversation and noises do not penetrate the patient’s consciousness.
We are excited about our new headphone model that is priced so that the hospital can GIVE each surgical patient a headphone to take home with them. Our initial efforts are focusing on hospitals that have multiple facilities around the country, but if you would like us to talk with administrators at your hospital, just let us know, and we’d be happy to set up an initial call!!