Music Therapy at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children

Music Therapy at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children

For over a century, music has been used to heal children through its transformative power. Today, medical professionals acknowledge and endorse the effectiveness of music therapy as an integral component of clinical care to meet a variety of health and therapeutic objectives (American Music Therapy Association, 2017).

Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in central Florida is a premier pediatric teaching facility, recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top pediatric hospitals for many specialties and services, such as cardiology/heart surgery, pediatric cancer care and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The healing arts and child life departments collaborate to offer comfort to patients while they relax from stress and have time to play, learn and grow during their stay at the hospital.

For children’s physical and emotional wellbeing, the hospital offers a wide array of therapeutic, community-based and in-hospital programs. These services are funded through both public and private sources with an emphasis on family-centered care.

At Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, the Child Life Department is dedicated to aiding patients and their families in developing social, emotional, and behavioral skills that will enable them to cope with medical treatment and recovery. They offer emotional support, educational guidance, advocacy services, counseling services, as well as a range of play and creative arts activities.

Since 2007, Central Florida Spirit Halloween stores have raised funds to benefit child life programs at local area hospitals. Customers donate money both in-store and online during the Halloween season in support of these crucial initiatives at our partner hospitals.

At the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), music therapists offer individual and group therapeutic treatments to neonates and their parents that address physical, psychological, and emotional needs of each patient. Their primary objectives include improving neurodevelopment, managing symptoms, and strengthening caregiver-child bonding.

Music therapy is an integral component of the hospital’s comprehensive rehabilitation program. It can relieve pain and discomfort, improve physical and cognitive function, promote relaxation, strengthen immunity, boost confidence and self-esteem – all with music!

Recent research has demonstrated the beneficial effects of music therapy as an effective intervention to reduce stress, depression and anxiety in children with chronic illnesses. It also increases positive attitudes toward hospitals and enhances communication between caregivers and patients.

At the children’s hospital, it is essential to adopt a culturally sensitive approach when implementing music therapy. To do this effectively, an ethnographic-focused approach is necessary.

This research process employed deductive analysis and inductive reasoning, a form of phenomenological inquiry which seeks to uncover patterns and associations through narrative construction. Data was collected from four areas: structure & leadership, organizational culture & hierarchy, location as well as how referrals for music therapy are generated.

Children’s hospitals are intricate systems, and it takes special knowledge of the organization structure to comprehend and address potential issues that could arise when introducing a new professional practice within an unfamiliar setting, or transitioning an existing one into more formal surroundings. This understanding is critical for successful implementation of any profession and helps therapists gain an insight into the culture or hierarchy within an organization.

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