Sharp Coronado Hospital Offers New Relaxation Options to Patients

Barbara Bauer, the clinical nutrition program manager at Sharp Coronado, shares the benefits of a soothing sound machine with knee-replacement patient Russell Harmon.
Barbara Bauer, the clinical nutrition program manager at Sharp Coronado, shares the benefits of a soothing sound machine with knee-replacement patient Russell Harmon.

As one of the first hospitals in the nation designated a Planetree patient-centered hospital, Sharp Coronado has a long history of creating innovative health care experiences for patients. Staff members commonly combine massage, Healing Touch, acupuncture and aromatherapy with clinical therapies to promote healing in all dimensions.

When Barbara Bauer, RD, clinical nutrition program manager at Sharp Coronado Hospital, saw that employees who participated in the hospital’s employee break-time meditation program for just 10 minutes were able to decrease their stress by one or more levels, she was intrigued. Bauer wanted to expand relaxation options for patients at Sharp Coronado as well.

"Integrative therapies are used by caregivers at Sharp Coronado to help patients relax and reduce pain after surgery," Bauer said. "I thought including soothing sounds and guided meditation in our menu of integrative therapies could be nice additions to our offering."

Not knowing how patients would accept meditation, Bauer decided to study both the use of soothing sound machines and guided meditation CDs with orthopedic surgery patients. Carolyn Mitchell, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Sharp Coronado, and Erin Salmon, a registered nurse at Sharp Coronado, helped Bauer enhance the hospital’s existing relaxation program.

A study group of 50 patients was offered the option to use a soothing sound machine and/or a guided meditation CD at the bedside. After their hip or knee surgery, participants were asked to answer a questionnaire evaluating their experience and whether their level of relaxation helped to ease pain. Overall, the study indicated that the majority of participants felt the new relaxation options helped decrease stress and pain during their hospital stay.

"I was in a large amount of pain during my first night and I couldn’t sleep, but the soothing sounds machine put me right to sleep," said one of the participants in the study.

The soothing sounds and guided meditation offerings align with the Planetree philosophy of care, which seeks to personalize, humanize and demystify the hospital experience for patients and their loved ones. In fact, team members who helped implement the new relaxation offerings received a Spirit of Planetree Program Award at the 2013 Planetree conference for integrative therapies.

Based on the success during the trial period, Sharp Coronado now offers soothing sound machines and guided meditation CDs to all acute care patients. The relaxation aids are stored on a mobile activity cart so staff members can easily distribute them to patients for use at the bedside. In addition, the soothing sound machines and guided meditation CDs are available for purchase in the Sharp Coronado Hospital Gift Shop.

The new relaxation options are just one more way that Sharp Coronado is delivering The Sharp Experience and making health care better for patients and their families.

For More Information
To learn more Sharp Coronado Hospital's programs and services, please call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm, or send us an email.