St. Vincent Music Therapist Uses Lullabies to Improve NICU Outcomes

Click here for the Billings Gazette article. 

At St. Vincent Healthcare, music is increasingly being used as a powerful therapy tool in the hospital setting. From infants to teens, music therapy is positively impacting a wide range of patients at St. Vincent. As a board-certified music therapist, Brooke Wagner, uses various forms of music to help patients cope, relax and heal more quickly. Music can ease anxiety, reduce the perception of pain, provide a sense of normalcy while a child is hospitalized and help with an infant's vital signs, sleep patterns and feeding, among many other benefits. In the St. Vincent Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Wagner uses a device called a PAL (pacifier activated lullaby) which encourages the infant to practice sucking to enable them to nurse or take a bottle more efficiently. The gentle lullaby provides positive reinforcement when they suck on the pacifier properly. The music turns off when they stop sucking. Read this Billings Gazette article to learn more about the music therapy program at St. Vincent and how the PAL helped send one NICU patient home a couple weeks sooner than expected.

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Left photo: Brooke Wagner, a music therapist with St. Vincent, coaxes Cybil Raine to accept the pacifier from the pacifier-activated lullaby (PAL) music player in the NICU at St. Vincent Healthcare. The machine encourages infants to practice sucking to enable them to nurse more efficiently.

Right photo: Brooke Wagner, St. Vincent Healthcare Board-Certified Music Therapist.

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