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The Singing Nurse: How music became part of my medicine

Around Baylor University Medical Center, they call me “the Singing Nurse.” You may have heard my voice floating through the hospital atrium, or my humming filling the hallways as I weave in and out of patient rooms.

Music has always been woven deeply inside me. From the earliest time I can remember, I have had a song in my heart — and usually also on my lips. I have spent much of my life training my voice and developing my talent, but I never imagined that my nursing career would have a place for my voice.

Music has always been woven deeply inside me. From the earliest time I can remember, I have had a song in my heart — and usually also on my lips.

I began my career as a registered nurse four years ago.  What has become a very rewarding career held very real challenges for me in the beginning. As a new nurse still learning to navigate the hospital culture and my new responsibilities, each day seemed a mountain I had to scale, all while carrying the lives and wellbeing of my patients with me. During that transition, I many days felt as though I had barely made it to the finish line by the end of each shift.

But by a year into my new profession, I had made myself at home in the hospital workplace. Rather subconsciously, I began to hum through the halls, sing while charting and, as a result, share a contagious joy with both coworkers and patients alike.

Related: 7 reasons why I love being a nurse

Eventually, people throughout the hospital began to refer to me as “The Singing Nurse!” While I found this nickname to be humorous at first, I began to realize the effect that I was having on those around me.  The art of music evokes something inside of us that fuels our human spirit, something that is accessible by few things in this world.

I also saw firsthand that I had the unique gift and opportunity to share this music with others in a place where it is truly needed.

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When harnessed, the power of music can motivate our ability to persevere through difficult times. Having worked at the bedside for several years, I am intimately aware of the need for this encouragement in the hospital setting. The hospital can be a place of healing and hope, but it can also be a place of anxiety and grief. A hospitalization or medical crisis, either personal or experienced vicariously through a loved one, is a time during which the power of music can be invaluable.

A hospitalization or medical crisis, either personal or experienced vicariously through a loved one, is a time during which the power of music can be invaluable.

In various places throughout our hospital, I have sung for patients and family members experiencing moments of both grief and celebration. Some patients, upon hearing a simple song, have told me that I sparked their first smile in months. And once a month, I enjoy singing with the accompaniment of a personal friend at Sammons Cancer Center within the Arts in Medicine program.

Related: Bringing music to the bedside of the critically ill

But when I sing, it’s also for the nurses, doctors, assistants, technicians and volunteers who work tirelessly around me to help care for patients and their families. The truth is that sometimes caregivers need to be cared for, too.

And so, I cannot help but share the music inside of me at my workplace! My coworkers recognize me by my humming and singing throughout the day — and by the smile that results.  Patients light up, and usually request a song, when my coworkers tell them about “the Singing Nurse” who is taking care of them.

Both music and nursing have the ability to transform lives in a positive way, and they have certainly transformed mine. Each day, I find it a personal privilege that patients entrust their wellbeing into my hands. I also experience an incredible joy in being able to affect the morale and spirit of those around me with my gift for singing.

Because of this, I will continue to be known as “The Singing Nurse,” for the sake of lifting spirits in the hospital. While I may never know what my songs mean to other people, I am grateful for every day that God allows me to use them for the good of the people I serve in His name.

Discover the joy of a rewarding career in healthcare.

About the author

Grace Glausier
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Grace Glausier is a senior digital engagement strategist for Baylor Scott and White Health. A graduate of Baylor University, she is passionate about connecting people through powerful stories and empowering individuals toward better health.

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The Singing Nurse: How music became part of my medicine