Scientists are trained to be skeptical. And it’s a very good thing! When people’s lives are on the line, you want to be sure that everything you’re doing for the patient is maximizing their opportunities to survive and thrive. Using music during the perioperative period is one of those things that has proven to be very useful in decreasing anxiety and pain perception. And at the same time, to “DO NO HARM.”
One of the steps to becoming a physician is taking the ancient “Hippocratic Oath” and part of that oath requires that the physician promise to “primum non nocere” which means “first, do no harm.” I believe that one of the major benefits of using music during the surgical period is that music can never harm a patient. But far more than that, it can actually calm them prior to the beginning of the procedure, a time when Valium is often given routinely and without a thought of the fact that music could probably accomplish the very same thing but without the risk of side-effects.
What are common side-effects of Valium?
According to www.rxlist.com, common side-effects of Valium include:
- tired feeling
- spinning sensation
- ataxia (loss of balance)
- memory problems
And what are common patient reactions to serene, calming music?
- lowered anxiety
- feelings of peace
- slow and steady heartbeat
- deep and regular breathing
- ability to forget current circumstances (temporarily)
The goal is education about the power of music
Through the past several hundred years, individual doctors and nurses have thought about using music during surgery and other medical procedures. I have read about doctors having live music in the operating room, but that’s not very practical and raises concerns about introducing all kinds of germs and bacteria into the operating room.
There are paintings from hundreds of years ago showing musicians attending a patient having surgery. This painting depicts “live Oud music during cardiac surgery.” and accompanies a medical study with the same name.
One of the basic premises in using music as medicine, whether for surgery or other medical procedures, is that the music must be pleasing, even if not familiar to the patient.
Every part of the world has its own music, its own music history, and its own musical instruments that have developed over thousands of years.
Offering the surgical patient a choice of music prior to surgery is very important and creates a sense of some choice and control for the patient. Most people go into surgery feeling very powerless and even out of control. Offering soothing music is a simple way to empower the patient and give them a sense of partnership.
Research on the use of music during the perioperative period
On my website you can find some of the most important recent studies on the use of music with different kinds of surgeries. Click here to see these studies and meta-analyses.
There have been very reputable studies done on music with cataract surgery, cancer surgeries, joint replacement surgeries, dental surgery and any medical procedures you can imagine. It’s really very exciting.
But until 2009, there was not a single product on the market that could deliver the ideal music to the patient, during surgery, through cordless, pre-loaded headphones. In 2008, Surgical Serenity Solutions was awarded a U.S. Patent on the concept of having pre-loaded headphones for surgery patients for the specific purpose of reducing anxiety, pain perception and possibly the amount of medication required. In 2009 Surgical Serenity Solutions.started selling the headphones to patients.
Over the past 4-5 years we have shifted our focus from providing our headphones primarily to patients and instead, are now introducing them in larger quantities, to hospitals. Our dream is that most hospital systems will have the headphones waiting for the patients on the morning they arrive for surgery, or colonoscopies/endoscopies. Even labor and delivery suites, and ICUs are utilizing the many benefits of soothing music through headphones for patient who is anxious and fearful about their outcomes.
If YOUR hospital is interested in getting pre-loaded headphones in the OR, the ICU, the ER, or Labor and Delivery, click here to get prices and information on how they work. Each order of 12 or 20 headphones comes with 50 pair of disposable ear-piece covers and you can purchase more, as needed!
Give your patients the patient experience they deserve and create a safer experience as well!