We’ve only just started working on Critical Care wards and as a musician, you wonder what impact you can really have for people in such an extreme situation. It can be quite intimidating and nerve wracking to enter these bays and rooms and begin playing.
This week, we entered a High Dependency Unit where we’ve been asked to run a pilot scheme and were immediately made to feel very welcome by the staff. Two of them asked us if we could try playing for a lady who has learning disabilities, who had been very restlessness and vocal in expressing her distress and anxiety. As we approached her room there were about nine members of staff around the door. We went in and she was vocalising repetitively and seemed very confused and restless. We said hello and she asked us our names and we began playing. She became quite emotional and teary and asked a nurse at the door to come in and be with her. They held hands and the nurse sang along softly with us. We continued playing and over time, she settled down, relaxed, closed her eyes and fell asleep. We quietly left the room and saw all the staff had been watching, clearly happy to see the lady at peace. “That was amazing” said a consultant.