India: Doctors dance to cheer up Covid patients in Bengaluru hospitals
Such activities divert the mind, elevate the mood and relax the patients, psychologist says
The atmosphere in hospitals treating Covid patients can be quite depressing, with the medical staff all decked up in sterilised PPE gear, patients battling it out and relatives and friends not allowed inside. And this can go on for days at a stretch, shattering the minds of many patients and staff members.
But doctors and staff in many hospitals in Bengaluru, one of the worst-hit by the Covid crisis, have come out with unique solutions to tackle these problems: music and dance to drive away the Covid blues.
“Many patients are frustrated, depressed and anxious,” Dr Samit Havinal of Shreyas hospital, told a newspaper in Bangalore.
“Music therapy definitely helps in cases of ICU psychosis.” Some of the attendants of the patients provided portable speakers and asked the medical staff to play some prayer songs.
“This sparked an idea to play peppy songs through the speaker in the ICU,” said Havinal.
“The staff also jumped on board. When the patients saw the staff in PPE kits dancing, they became cheerful. This definitely has a role to play in their recovery,” he says.
Madan Gaikwad, an officer at the Dr. Chandramma Dayananda Sagar Institute of Medical Education and Research, told the newspaper that boosting patients mentally is half the battle won. “There were patients who were reluctant to get physiotherapy,” he said.
“But by making them move to whatever extent they can whilst on the bed is passive physiotherapy and also keeps them in good spirits.”
With music and dance becoming a regular feature at the hospital’s ICU, the patients’ moods have got elevated. “It’s a win-win,” he said.
“The medical staff are stressed and overworked. Dancing to music, even if it is just for just around 3 minutes, relaxes them and offers them a diversion.”
The medical staff at Sapthagiri hospital in Hessarghatta also hold hands of Covid patients and dance along with them. They have their PPE kits, but share the joys in the ICU for a few minutes.
Shubha Madhusudhan, a clinical psychologist, was quoted by the paper as saying that the mind plays an important role in recovery. “The ICU and hospital environment are depressing. Such activities will divert the mind, elevate the mood and relax the patients. A little movement, however restricted by the tubes attached to the patients, empowers them,” she added.
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