Sharing a Voice through Supervision
Updated: Jun 23, 2020
In a recent blog post, Amy posed a question to her readers: “So if you were a patient on your caseload right now, what might you need?” I can’t believe how much I resonate with this sentiment during this time.
I work in a busy pediatric hospital in Queens, NY, primarily within the PICU, step-down/intermediate care unit, and medical/surgical unit. However, much of my environment, workload and responsibilities changed as the pandemic came to a climax. I no longer work on the units I provided services to regularly. Instead, I shifted to working throughout the entire hospital and providing music therapy services to every inpatient unit. My co-therapist and I split shifts. When she is at the hospital, I am working from home, working on various non-clinical projects and writing opportunities. Pediatric units, once admitted children for asthma, cystic fibrosis, and appendectomies, have become surge units for adults admitted for COVID-19. One of our units even became an adult oncology unit. We weren’t servicing these units; we were strictly to be providing in-person and virtual visits to our remaining inpatient and outpatient pediatric units.
Back to Amy’s question…what might we need right now? I can think of so many things: Stability, comfort, socialization, understanding – all of our basic needs that so often our patients and families are stripped of. It got me to thinking of my home units - our PICU. So many of our patients in the PICU are experiencing instability, discomfort, isolation, and delirium. What is this parallel process and how can I still provide optimal care to these patients, these families, and staff, while also taking care of myself as a clinician?
I have been thinking of the stressors of being one, single music therapist for an entire hospital. Sure, I have my co-therapist – who I appreciate working with beyond measure – but unfortunately, we are working split shifts. For that day, I am the lone Music Therapist in-house. I often coach and provide support to my colleagues about having two hands. You can only do as much as those two hands can hol