Dec 2016 – For the millions of patients spending Christmas in hospital worldwide, it is bedside leadership like this that makes a powerful difference. Experienced nurses, Marieneth Montenegro and Lisa Sampson know the tiny babies they care for are comforted by the sound of human voices singing certain types of music – at the right time, and at the right level. Monitoring little Anya’s vital signs is constant, and she shows calm as Marieneth and Lisa sing to her. Video below – have your sound on : )
Research has shown that human touch is paramount in neonatal intensive care. NICU nurses provide “two-person care”: while one is administering treatment, another nurse must always have a hand on the baby. The best “medicine” is human touch, while the parents’ touch is considered “the golden medicine”. Singing takes the care experience to another level entirely.
The idea for the Sunnybrook NICU video came from parent co-coordinator Kate Robson. Recognizing Marieneth and Lisa’s singing voices as calming to the preemies, especially when the parents’ voices are not present, Robson was key to the launch of this story. A great example of leadership in the co-ordinator role and at the bedside.
“Babies love voices, and they love singing, and it’s something we try to encourage. It calms them and it de-stresses them.” Shares Robson.
For NICU Nurses – the Babies’ Families are Our Families
A Sunnybrook nurse since 2017 , Marieneth knows when and how to share her gift of an angelic singing voice and sing to the babies.
“I’ll hum to them softly. Sometimes you don’t want to be too loud, and other times you don’t have the time to.”
Before becoming a nurse she would sing to her niece and nephew, both born premature. She is committed to NICU nursing and “can’t see working in another department.” Marieneth hopes the video teaches that there’s more to nursing than providing “standard” treatment and care.
“At the end of the video it says ‘Happy holidays from our family to yours.’ I guess the message is that with families being in the NICU they are our family, as well, as much as the baby,” she said.
Baby Anya’s parents released a statement to say that their daughter “is doing very well.” They look forward to bringing her home to be with them and her big brother in the new year. Read more at CBC.ca .
Having worked many a Christmas in my clinical and hospital admin days, I personally wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!
From Gisele Guenard, RN BScN MEd, Principal -VisionarEase & associates! : )