The Singing Nurse: Caring for Hospital Patients with the Power of Song

NursingFebruary 04, 2014

Being a nurse entails much more than giving medications and checking vital signs. Nurses must show hospital patients that they truly care for them. For some nurses, this is done by taking extra time with a patient or being a vocal advocate within their medical team. But for Jared Axen, RN, serenading patients with his angelic voice demonstrates his care for them. Prior to becoming a nurse, Axen received an associate degree in music, and it seems that his previous experience and talent has enhanced his effectiveness as a nurse. He currently works as a nurse in Valencia, California at the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. Axen's vocal talent may be seen as a form of music therapy. He would walk through hallways singing, and hospital patients would come out of their rooms to hear him. This evolved into taking requests from patients and seeing how much it affected them. "When patients are in pain, it gives them some distraction. They may not necessarily be happy about their situation, but it seems a little easier, a little easier to manage," stated Axen in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. In an interview with SCV Arts and Entertainment, Axen reflects on his philosophy in building a nurse-patient relationship. "The important thing with nursing is that you have a good 20 to 30 seconds to make a connection with your patient," he said. "What I am doing, singing with my patients, requires a large amount of vulnerability both on my end and on their end to receive it. So it's very important that in those first 20 seconds or so, you really work on building that relationship and that trust." Clips of Axen demonstrating his singing ability can be found on his YouTube channel. He also maintains a personal website called,, where he answers questions to help guide patients and families through difficult health care processes. Axen's philosophy toward his role as a nurse is admirable, and it is the essence of nursing. Most nurses will not use their vocal talents to provide care for their patients but rather through lending an ear or being quick to make a joke. Any way a nurse shows a patient that he or she cares can improve the nurse-patient relationship. Photo Source: morgueFile [cf]skyword_tracking_tag[/cf]