A little while ago I read a negative article about a hospital patient being given a tambourine to summon a nurse. I recently re-read the report more carefully and it set me thinking —– this no doubt well-intended, if thoughtless idea, could be turned from a grumble 😦 into a smile 🙂
Music always lifts the spirit and significantly the hospital where this happened was the Cardiff Royal Infirmary, in the heart of the musical nation! You could almost guarantee that every patient can play an instrument. So why not give each patient a different instrument and then the nurses would know who was calling for attention:-
Mrs Jones could have a violin – delicate, polite but to the point;
Mrs Thomas a trumpet – she was always the shrillest voice in the street;
Mrs Davies a xylophone – very sophisticated, Mrs Davies is;
Mr Williams could have the drums in the day room because it is apparently further away and he makes lots of noise;
Mrs Evans a wind instrument – a flute, an oboe maybe, even a trombone but not a tuba – that’s too big – she’s never been short of wind, Mrs Evans;
No tambourines, triangles or small bells here, this is a Welsh hospital and there’s lots of “raging against the dying of the light” to do.
At 10 o’clock each day, except Sundays, instead of doctors rounds, the local Brass Band leader could come in and conduct the patients and help them play in harmony. This could be the only hour of the day when the nurses get a break and a chance to sit down.
The impromptu orchestra could learn different tunes to play for each of their daily needs – “a drink”, “a dressing”, “the toilet”, “my tablets”, “my pillows plumped up”, “a drink again”, “the toilet again”.
Wouldn’t all this be fun? I’ll bet it would speed up recovery and hasten hospital discharge, as well as keeping the nurses on their toes. “No time for paperwork, I can hear Mrs Davies playing Handel’s Water Music again”