Music and creative opportunities in healthcare.
During a hospital or visit to a healthcare setting the senses can often take a major hit- and not always with a positive impact.
If we take a moment to visualise a setting such as a hospital our senses will be required to take a high level hit -stimulation overload in order to separate and work out what is a threat and what isn't.
The announcements, the buzzers, the people, the smell, the lights and that is before a department is reached.
For children and young people what they see, hear, smell and feel impacts on how they respond and react.
The Playroom- a colourful and non clinical space- complete with musicians can immediately minimize the fear of what a children's ward feels like.
The coloured window decorations are plastic strips- curtains from IKEA!
(so easy to clean)
(Christmas 2015 Music in Hospitals Concert)
Working with children and young people it is important that their needs are met, and this requires their voices to be heard in order to deliver, not what we think looks great, but what actually fulfils their need.
It is tricky- adhering to trust policies and infection control guidelines is a must- but it can be done and achieved if the whole team is involved.
Research and evidence shows us that the least amount of trauma children and young people experience in-between clinical interventions - the better in terms of recovery and well-being.
We know that staying calm, relaxed, and having the opportunity to experience joy and laughter allows the body to produce increased amounts of serotonin which regulates mood and increases happiness - even for just short moments.
This has a major impact in the way children, young people and their families react and cope with periods of time in hospital.
Music and the creative arts is another way we can enhance an environment- opportunity to paint, draw, sing, dance, make music, tell stories and be a bit silly- have moments of stillness and of relaxation- allows them to break down sterile boundaries- creates a calm environment and provides children and young people a space to explore, create, and have a voice.
There are many charities and organisations that can support this type of play and exploration within a clinical setting.
Create uses the creative arts to transform lives, there priority groups are carers, children in hospital, older people and people with additional needs and disabilities.
To improve the quality of life for adults and children with all kinds of illness and disability.
Exploring the impact environments have on children and young people's experience of healthcare: a review of literature - Alison Tonkin
Copyright- Sian Spencer-Little Dec 2016.