NewsPositively San Diego


Local COVID-19 nurse uses music to connect with patients

Posted at 7:24 AM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 10:24:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A nurse at UC San Diego Health is turning to music when trying to connect with patients during telemedicine visits.

"I've always listened to music so I started teasing my patients 'hey you owe me a nurses fee' and they'd be like 'what's that?' I'd tell them it's your favorite song, a lot of people responded well and it'd help build a rapport with them." It might sound silly but Joe Bautista, nurse with UCSD for over 6 years, said it helped him build a connection with patients in ways he'd never imagine.

"I was like what's your favorite song? And she said 'Tennessee Whiskey' and I said why? She said 'I really need a Tennessee Whiskey' right now so that was really funny."

His patients are recovering after testing positives for COVID-19. "You're on the phone with them but you also hear their stressors, and their anxiety and you want to provide them comfort," Bautista said. His job is to track and assess their progress along the way. The music part, he said, is an added bonus, "It was for me to find a connection with each of my patients to make sure I could advocate for them the best I could."

He said in nursing school when patients were sick and feeling uneased, he would ask about their favorite song and their faces would light up. "They're able to talk to us freely because I'm showing interest in something that's personal to them so they can develop that trust with me."

Bautista created a playlist with music from his patients with over 300 songs.