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Easing anxiety: One nurse’s approach to making hospital visits less frightening

Local News

RUSSELL, Ky. (WOWK) — The hospital, maybe the last place you think about finding a guitar. Well, that’s not the case at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, in Russell, Kentucky.

“I went in the lab one day and they said ‘let me show you something,’ and they pulled their phone out and it was a video of Chris playing for a patient,” said Teri Hannon, Director of Imaging and Heart & Vascular Services at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital.

“I, too, frankly, when they showed me the video, I thought ‘there’s a guitar in the lab.’ And that piece of it left me and I began to think about treating that whole patient and putting their mind, you know, at rest.”

The nurse Hannon is talking about is Chris Beaver. Beaver works in the Cardiovascular lab and says he and his team try to find out what patients are interested in to help put them at ease before big procedures.
For the last 4 years, Beaver has been providing VIP care for patients that request it. For Beaver, this all started out as a hobby when he was just 5 years old.

“I had instruments here, just from going on lunch or break, you know, maybe practicing here or there,” said Beaver.

Now, that hobby is another tool he uses to focus on the holistic care of his patients by playing the guitar, mandolin, or banjo for them during procedures at their request.

“They have said that it helped them relax, made them feel safe, [and] helped them through the procedure,” said Beaver, who is humbled when someone asks him to play. “Absolutely. It’s an honor to play for anybody. When you get to play for someone, it feels really good to help them out.”

Therefore, he’ll continue picking away and easing people’s minds one patient at a time.

Beaver can play 12 instruments in total – most of them string instruments – and says he’s glad to play for any patient if they’re ever having a procedure done at Bellefonte’s Cardiovascular Center.

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