Reporting Diane Thompson
Filed underKNX Hero of the Week
SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — He’s known by his patients as “The Singing Nurse”.
KNX 1070′s Diane Thompson reports, for Jared Axen, carrying a tune is almost as important as caring for his patients.
Axen is known for using his gift of song to provide a special kind of bedside comfort to patients at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Santa Clarita.
The 26-year-old registered nurse’s ability to belt out Broadway classics like “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Smile” has made him something of a local legend at the hospital.
“I started singing before I went into nursing, and singing is just something I naturally do, whether I’m walking on the floors or anything, I don’t really think about it,” he said.
Eventually, some of Axen’s patients would hear his baritone voice in the hallway and began to ask him about his not-so-hidden talent.
That’s when Axen discovered he could merge his two greatest passions – medicine and song – together for those who are nervous about being in the hospital.
“Most people don’t expect you to take their hand and start singing to them,” he said. “A lot of times I’ve found if I’m waiting for the pain medications to kick in and things like that, I can use that method of distraction.”
Axen – a child performer in his former life – recently launched his own YouTube channel so that both current and former patients can hear him sing whenever they want.
But for Axen, nothing really compares to serenading a patient face to face – and making a new friend in the process.
“A lot of the patients who I work with right now are senior citizens, so a lot of the music that I learned is still from the 1930s, 40s and 50s,” he said, adding that patients will sometimes join in for a chorus or two.
“That happens sometimes, and I love it,” said Axen. “It shows you that you’re bonding with them.”