Promotes relaxation and healing
A solitary crane perched on a rock peers out over a calm lake as soothing flute music fills the background.
That’s just one of many tranquil images featured on the C.A.R.E. (Continuous Ambient Relaxation Environment) Channel, an in-room television alternative for patients, their guests, and staff which was recently introduced throughout The Hospital of St. Raphael. Sponsored by the Looking Forward Program, it is now available on Channel 18 in all patient rooms and select waiting areas throughout the hospital.
Relaxation, stress relief, pain management
Designed to create a healing environment, the C.A.R.E. Channel offers 24-hour environmental programming to facilitate relaxation, relieve stress, support pain management and reduce the effects of hospital noises such as carts or beds being moved, medical equipment beeping or buzzing, and public system announcements.
By combining soothing instrumental music with beautiful nature images such as sparkling waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, fields of flowers, and waves flowing over natural rock formations, the continuous programming creates an environment of comfort and healing. The original music is especially composed for the channel so that patients won’t associate it to an experience that may be unpleasant — for example, if it were familiar music that they connected to a relationship that has ended.
Research has shown that exposure to a relaxing environment such as this programming:
- helps reduce anxiety in patients prior to undergoing surgery, cancer treatments, or other procedures
- helps decrease pain intensity, lower blood pressure and heart rate
- decreases stress so that a patient’s immune system is stronger and better able to support the healing process
Supports the body’s adjustment from daytime to night
In addition to aiding the healing process, the programming on the C.A.R.E. Channel supports the body’s natural circadian rhythms to promote restful sleep. As day moves into night, the images gradually transition from things like an eagle soaring by fluffy clouds to a colorful sunset at dusk to a nighttime sky filled with stars. This helps orient patients to a day/night cycle to decrease “sundowning,” a condition where patients who sleep a good part of the day wake up at night agitated and confused because they have not seen daylight or the outdoors.
While a hospital environment is experienced on all sensory levels, sound can be the most invasive factor. Noise affects the entire population, impacting patients, staff, and visitors. The C.A.R.E. Channel promotes a quieter, healing, more mindful environment.
Reduced use of pain medication and restraints
According to Healing HealthCare Systems, Inc., the producers of the C.A.R.E. Channel, patient satisfaction data has shown that sound and other environmental factors can significantly impact clinical results. Hospitals with the C.A.R.E. Channel have reported reductions in the use of pain medication and restraints.
First developed in 1992, The C.A.R.E. Channel is installed in hospitals in 45 states. In the fall of 2008, through the efforts of the Looking Forward Cancer Care Program, Saint Raphael’s became the fifth hospital in Connecticut to offer the channel.
Page last updated on Dec. 09, 2008