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Doctors and nurses at University Hospitals use drum circle to relieve stress

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Posted at 8:04 AM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 18:36:35-05

CLEVELAND — Doctors and nurses have a difficult job — honestly, anyone working inside a hospital does. Studies show nearly half of medical professionals experience some symptoms of “burnout” — which can impact not only their lives, but patient care.

To address this, University Hospitals is working to take care of those who take care of us in a unique way.

Victoria Diab works 12 hour days with stroke and psych patients at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center.

“It’s heartbreaking, it’s stressful, it’s exhausting,” Diab said. “Because whatever your patient is going through, we are going through. We all feel for them.”

It’s why Diab, along with so many other caregivers and hospital workers at UH, are so excited about the “Feel the Beat” program — a new note in their hectic days.

The program is one-of-a-kind, using music therapy not just for patients, but for caregivers and staff.

A break in the day banging on big drums, a mini-jam session that brings together people from different specialties and different floors.

The idea came from Danny Rose, a board-certified music therapist who has worked with patients for years.

“So the benefit is taking that time for yourself. Get away from the work, engage in something new, something different,” Rose said.

Seneca Block is the Expressive Therapy program manager at UH’s Connor Integrative Heath Network.

“So many benefits beyond the patient population,” Block said. “Staff members benefit greatly from a break in their day, a way to collaborate and communicate in their day, and it’s extremely cost effective and it puts a lot of smiles on faces.”

For Diab, banging on the biggest drum in the room for a few minutes is the breather she needs.

“You can’t help but to smile because everybody else is having a good time and it feels really good,” Diab said.

The “Feel the Beat” program is currently at nearly a dozen UH locations around Northeast Ohio, offered to caregivers a few times a month. It is run through the Connor Integrative Health Network.