Reporting Sandra Mitchell
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A hospital can be a cold and lonely place.
But at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, patients call the tall guy with the curly hair: “The Singing Nurse.”
Belting out Broadway tunes and the classics, 26-year-old old nurse Jared Axen prescribes his own kind of pain relief.
CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Sandra Mitchell talked to Axen about his unique idea and his gift of song. She notes that he is “part Doogie Howser and part Harry Connick.”
Axen, a child performer in his previous life, loves his current job and singing. Why not combine the two? He says, “We were taught as registered nurses to find other ways to comfort and console our patients as we’re waiting for the pain medication to kick in, or something just to keep their mind busy, and I started singing at their bedside.”
Singing at someone’s bedside is a totally different experience than singing on stage to hundreds of people. “You bond with that person on a completely different level than when singing on stage,” says Axen, “That’s always been exciting, but you never get to see the reaction of the person…you can hear it. But you never get to see what it’s done to someone, how it’s affected them.”
Cancer patient Lucinda Tilch is grateful for her exuberant nurse. “It just kind of makes you feel something special inside and that’s where all the stuff is…inside. And, I think it relaxes me and makes me forget about it while I’m listening.”
Axen recently launched his own YouTube channel so his patients can hear him sing whenever they want.