Collaborating With Music Therapists to Improve Patient Care

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Abstract

Collaboration between perioperative nurses and music therapists can be beneficial in providing a safe, cost-effective means of managing patients’ anxiety and pain and reducing the need for pharmacologic intervention in the perioperative setting. The use of a board-certified music therapist may help to improve patient outcomes, ease nurse workload, and serve as an adjunct therapeutic modality that is enjoyable for both patients and staff members. We conducted a two-year, randomized controlled trial to determine how to best implement a music therapy program, navigate its challenges, and collaborate with nurse colleagues to bring its benefits to surgical patients. This article offers suggestions for alliances between perioperative nursing and music therapy staff members and describes the potential of music therapists to help provide optimal patient care.

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