Forrest General and William Carey expand Music Therapy Services to include Palliative Care and Asbury Hospice House
Program promotes healing and enhances the quality of life for patients
Forrest General and William Carey University have a long-standing partnership which provides weekly music therapy sessions to oncology and pediatric patients. They recently expanded the program to also offer these services to Palliative Care patients as well as hospice patients residing at the Asbury Hospice House.
“After hearing the wonderful feedback from patients and families on our Pediatric and Oncology Units, we wanted to broaden the program. This offers the music therapy students the opportunity to work with a different type of patient and allows our palliative care and hospice patients to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the service,” said Vicky Buxton, director of volunteer and guest services at Forrest General.
The partnership is mutually beneficial to William Carey and Forrest General. The program gives students vital practicum experience while allowing Forrest General to expand its services and enhance patient care.
“The clinical practica at FGH are under supervision of a board certified music therapist faculty member who models, explains, and assists the music therapy students’ understanding the needs of these population-specific patients. The medical music therapy practicum is dynamic in that it connects coursework, lectures and medical jargon into clinical practice. This clinical site helps students see beyond the diagnosis and understand the individuals of whom they are serving. Many students are considering internships in the medical field and this experience helps with their decision making. For the students that chose a medical music therapy internship and as an eventual career path, this provides a wealth of benefit to catapult them forward and ahead of many other applicants. We have always valued this relationship as it continues to grow with no ceiling in sight,” said Jim Pierce, assistant professor of music therapy at William Carey University.
What Is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy is a clinical and evidence-based health profession that uses music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional to address physical, emotional, cognitive and/or social needs.
“We have received such positive responses from our patients regarding the Music Therapy program. Music Therapy interventions can be designed to assist in managing stress, alleviating pain, expressing feelings, improving communication and promoting wellness and physical rehabilitation. We are grateful that William Carey continues to work with us to provide this wonderful addition to the Forrest General patient experience,” said Millie Swan, vice president.
How is a Typical Music Therapy Session Beneficial?
- Active music engagement, incorporating improvisation, can support the patient by offering control, validating feelings and processing of the experience.
- Avoidance coping style, music has been used as a successful distraction technique.
- Children in critical care may address general sensory stimulation, environmental awareness, or emotional coping issues.