The CHRISTUS Santa Rosa hospitals in the Medical Center and in New Braunfels have brought in musicians to come play music in the intensive care unit.
This year, there are two senior interns from the University of the Incarnate Word who started in the summer. Student Andrea Galvan, who can play five instruments, said that she utilizes the instruments in their own unique way.
For example, she uses drum sticks to help a patient with movement or a foot tambourine to improve their mobility.
"Sometimes, we're looking for verbal communication. Sometimes patients are not able to communicate. Nurses and doctors think they're non-verbal. But when you bring music to a room in a non-threatening way, because I come with a guitar, they just start singing along and expressing themselves," Galvan said.
Patient Michelle Marion, who recently underwent surgery, said that the music has reduced her anxiety.
"She came in yesterday and it cheered me up a lot. I was in a lot of pain," Marion recalled. "She was awesome. She's been the only person besides my husband to cheer me up."
Galvan plans to continue her healing harmonies beyond the hospital. She wants to become a board certified music therapist.
"I think I'm called to help them in that way. The reason why I go sit next to them and they thank me at the end of the session. They're thankful for you just sitting down and listening to them," Galvan said. "It is a very fulfilling career."