VA NY Harbor Health Care System
The band played on
Tuesday, October 2, 2012On a recent day, live music filled the halls of Brooklynâ€™s eighth floor. Then it travelled to the twelfth floor.
Much to the delight of Veteran patients and staff at VA New York Harbor Healthcare Systemâ€™s Brooklyn Campus, a student nurse had grabbed a few musician friends and was serenading all.
Rafael Buyo, a VALOR student who plays the ukulele, appeared with two friends, each playing a trombone and guitar, and began marching from room to room on the oncology unit sharing his music. â€śIt was so nice, so fabulous,â€ť recalled Ann Higgins, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner at the facility. â€śThey went from room to room to see if patients would like to listen to songs. The patients absolutely adored it,â€ť she said. But the fun didnâ€™t stop. â€śThen the staff starts following the band - like New Orleans. The nurses were thrilled - it was such a good spirit.â€ť
The â€śsaintsâ€ť went marching to the twelfth floor as well, where Buyo had spent the summer. â€śThey played, we sang,â€ť said Higgins. â€śIt was wonderful. The patients were smiling, singing, clapping along. They just lit right up.â€ť
While there is plenty of research to document the positive impacts of music on hospitalized patients, Higgins doesnâ€™t need it â€“ she saw it for herself in the faces of the Veterans. The special visit had a significant impact on their quality of life.
â€śTheir moods go up, people start singing- itâ€™s light hearted â€“ itâ€™s a wonderful thing,â€ť she said, noting that she is looking forward to having the small student band back soon. â€śItâ€™s just so wonderful for young men to want to do this.â€ť