AORN Blog - The Periop Life

Why Listening is Your #1 Tool to Drive Harmonious Interactions in the OR

Why Listening is Your #1 Tool to Drive Harmonious Interactions in the OR

November 1, 2018     

In his career working with icons including Carlos Santana and Madonna, famed pianist Freddie Ravel has found one important secret to achieving musical harmony: listening. He believes nurses can harness the power of music to listen and engage with patients and colleagues in new ways.

A harmonious music score is not unlike a good surgical outcome: both require the right combination of elements coming together to “sound” just right.

In his career working with music icons, famed Earth, Wind & Fire pianist Ravel has learned how to build a powerful musical score. Known as the “Keynote Maestro,” he brings these musical insights to help healthcare professionals think differently about the way they can enhance listening, increase productivity, and drive success.

Breaking It Down

Ravel says the same musical architecture used to build a great song can be translated to the way nurses listen to their patients and their colleagues.

Here’s how he explains it….

There are three essential components of a music score that translate to nursing care:

  1. Melody—this is the lead notion or concept of the song that translates to leadership in the healthcare setting.
  2. Harmony—this is the collaboration between all players in the score that translates to a care team.
  3. Rhythm—this is the timing of the musical elements in the song coming together that translates to time management for a patient’s episode of care.

“All of this leads to the score, the highest outcome,” Ravel explains. “But none of this means anything unless we know how to listen to each other and bring it all together.”

Building Harmony

In healthcare, Ravel says taking the time to listen and have empathy by putting yourself in the shoes of a tired surgeon who’s ready to make a hasty decision, or putting yourself in the shoes of a patient feeling anxiety before surgery, is powerful.

For example: Say you are caring for a patient prior to surgery. She has high anxiety and is having problems with nausea and dizziness, but her favorite song is I Left my Heart in San Francisco by Tony Bennett because it brings her back to the time she fell in love with her husband.

“Doing the research to learn her favorite song and playing it for her or even singing a few words from the song will make all the difference.”

Ready to learn more from the Keynote Maestro about achieving harmonious interactions in your nursing care? The Music City is the perfect place. Make plans to see Freddie  in Nashville, TN at AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2019 next spring.