Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D. Blog

Thoughts and ideas on healthcare

Hi, and welcome to my blog! I'm Susan E. Mazer -- a knowledge expert and thought leader on how the environment of care impacts the patient experience. Topics I write about include safety, satisfaction, hospital noise, nursing, care at the bedside, and much more. Subscribe below to get email notices so you won't miss any great content.

Music to My Ears – Guest Post by Wendy Leebov, Ed.D.

October 23, 2015


Wendy Leebov, Ed.D.

At 97, my mother has partial dementia. A few weeks ago, she was admitted to the hospital because she had what looked like, but proved not to be a stroke.

I rushed to be with her in the hospital where she was extremely disturbed by all of the needles and tubes, as the doctors continued to run various diagnostic tests on her. On the third day, I was convinced that the tests were doing more harm than good. My mother was more agitated than I’d ever seen her be.

Exasperated, I said, “Mom, I’m taking you home! And she replied with sudden lucidity, “That’s music to my ears.”

Determined, I rushed to find my mother’s nurse and request a discharge order. She said we would have to wait for a Hospitalist to check on my mother and that this couldn’t happen for three hours. My mother, agitated again, kept exclaiming, “I want to go now. I want to go now.”

And finally, I signed my mother out “against medical advice” (very harrowing experience). Her nurse, helping us get my mom’s things together, turned to my mom and said, “Mrs. Leebov, I hope you feel better and that all goes well for you.”

My mother said, again with lucidity, “That’s music to my ears.”

When I think “hospitals” and “music to my ears,“ I think of The C.A.R.E. Channel. But that day, my mother expanded my thinking.

She reminded me that, when humans (in this case my mother’s nurse and me) express caring to her in a personal and loving way, that too is “music to the ears.” As is also true with The C.A.R.E. Channel, it cuts through her dementia and warms her heart.

The Language of Caring programs for staff and for physicians help bring “music to the ears” of patients and their families. Through short concrete skill-building modules, people learn how to express their caring and loving kindness, both verbally and nonverbally in every interaction.

With tools like The C.A.R.E. Channel and the Language of Caring, caregivers can bring “music to the ears” of patients and families — easing stress and anxiety, lightening their hearts, and enhancing their healing.

Wendy Leebov is Partner of Language of Caring, LLC, author of the Language of Caring Guide for Physicians, and a passionate champion of exceptional communication in healthcare worldwide. She can be reached at wleebov@languageofcaring.com or 215-413-1969.