TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - It’s not something you normally hear at a hospital: The soothing sounds of a ukulele echoing through the halls of St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Mohammed Uddin is the man behind the music. When he’s not checking vitals and administering medication, the registered nurse is entertaining his patients with music.
"We all have some stress and this is a little instrument but it’s a huge stress-releasing weapon," said Mohammed.
It’s all part of St. Joe’s new program "Commit to Sit," an opportunity for nurses to spend quality time with their patients outside of their medical responsibilities.
"We encourage our nurses to just don’t take your computers and charts in the room. Sit on the bed, maybe touch their hand, give them a little loving one-on-one and eye contact. Tell them who you are as a person, maybe why you became a nurse," said nurse manager Heather Bonn.
English is Mohammed’s second language, which sometimes makes his accent hard to understand. That’s why he relies on the language of music.
"It's very good feedback from the family and from the patients. It's like something spiritual," said Mohammed.
His holistic approach helps both the body and mind.
"He really drives to the heart of mending their sick soul while they're here," said Heather.
Mohammed is a self-taught musician and says even though he’s not always in tune, it doesn’t stop him from singing some of his favorite songs.
Mohammed has worked wonders for Elizabeth Smith who, up until a few days ago, had never spent a night in the hospital.
"It's my first time being under general anesthesia and I have a daughter at home. So it’s very scary," she said.
She credits Mohammed’s music for keeping her calm.
"They go that extra mile to make me feel uplifted and so much better. I really appreciate that," said Elizabeth.
Whether he's playing his favorite song "Over the Rainbow" or an original tune, Mohammed plans on always using medicine and music to heal his patients’ body and soul.