The sights and sounds of a hospital can make for a stressful atmosphere.
"It can be a little crazy sometimes, but good crazy and it's very technical," said Monique Citro, an OR technician.
Stress is something Citro knows all about. She's working hard to reduce it at Fletcher Allen Health Care by introducing music as medicine.
"We're hoping that this time will give people a chance to see something they don't normally see," Citro said.
Like an OR technician playing the cello in between surgeries. Citro has been nicknamed Yo Yo Mo after the famous cellist Yo Yo Ma. Patients and their families gather in the hospital lobby just to listen, and every once in awhile forget why they're here.
"I just stood there just listening. It was just beautiful," Andrea Arquette said.
Arquette has pancreatic cancer. She comes to Fletcher Allen every 12 weeks for treatment. She says she'd like to schedule appointments around noon every Wednesday; that's when Citro usually begins to play.
"They've said, you know, I was so worried about my mom who was in surgery and you took my mind away from that and just to know that I gave them a little bit of peace during that really stressful time is really rewarding," Citro said.
Citro started this tradition around the holidays. The hospital staff has been flexible with her schedule ever since, making sure she has time to fill the halls with Brahms, Bach or anything that makes patients say the hospital waiting room is a pleasant place to be.
"I'm always attracted to music wherever it is, but particularly string instruments," said Susan Walker who was waiting for her husband.
A program inspired by Citro's musicianship is spreading; other hospital staff members are eager to pick up their instruments and play on the heart strings of patients, adding a new element of healing at this hospital.
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