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St. Vincent Music Therapist Uses Lullabies to Improve NICU Outcomes


Billings, MT - At St. Vincent Healthcare, music is increasingly being used as a powerful therapy tool in the hospital setting. From infants to teens, music therapy is positively impacting a wide range of patients at St. Vincent. As a board-certified music therapist, Brooke Wagner, uses various forms of music to help patients cope, relax and heal more quickly. Music can ease anxiety, reduce the perception of pain, provide a sense of normalcy while a child is hospitalized and help with an infant's vital signs, sleep patterns and feeding, among many other benefits. In the St. Vincent Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Wagner uses a device called a PAL (pacifier activated lullaby) which encourages the infant to practice sucking to enable them to nurse or take a bottle more efficiently. The gentle lullaby provides positive reinforcement when they suck on the pacifier properly. The music turns off when they stop sucking. Read this Billings Gazette article to learn more about the music therapy program at St. Vincent and how the PAL helped send one NICU patient home a couple weeks sooner than expected.

About SCL Health

SCL Health is a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to improving the health of the people and communities we serve. Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in 1864, our health network provides comprehensive, coordinated care through eight hospitals, more than 180 physician clinics, home health, hospice, mental health, and safety-net services in Colorado and the Montana Wyoming region.