Lauren Iudiciani checks on her patient, making sure the girl and her mother have everything they need. She then brings in a four-legged visitor to say hello, leaves the room and starts singing. For Iudiciani, a nurse at Mayo Clinic's Arizona campus, it's just another day at the office. (Well, except for the singing part.)
That scene is actually the start of a music video created by Iudiciani, her colleague Jasmine Bhatti and a host of other Mayo staff. The goal of their effort: to inspire their colleagues and patients to make healthier choices. It's all part of the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge, a national movement designed to transform the health of the nation by improving the health of the nation's 3.6 million nurses. Mayo Clinic's Department of Nursing in Arizona is one of the program's premier partners — and has set a goal of enrolling 500 challenge participants by the end of the year. You can enroll here.
Iudiciani and Bhatti wanted to find a creative way to let people know about the challenge and encourage others to get involved. They decided to create some buzz by creating a video. They'd initially planned to change up the lyrics to a popular song but bumped up against some copyright hurdles.
"We thought the project was dead," says Teresa Connolly, chief nursing officer at Mayo Clinic's Arizona campus and one of the project's earliest champions. But the roadblock turned out to be nothing more than a detour. Iudiciani, who plays ukulele and sings at her church, decided to try her hand at writing an original song. The result is a sweet, catchy tune that captures a host of healthy messages. It also assures patients that their caregivers are behind them every step of the way.
"Singing is my passion, and nursing is an even bigger passion of mine," Iudciani tells us. She was excited to have an opportunity to combine the two. And it seems she wasn't the only one excited by the combination of music and medicine. Others were quick to come on board to help with the video, which was filmed on and around the hospital campus one sunny Saturday. The cast and crew include nurses and other staff from departments throughout Mayo's Arizona campus, as well as some family members. Even Mayo's Caring Canines (and their human handlers) got into the action.
The video has earned rave reviews from audiences, including Connolly, who tells us she was "speechless" the first time she watched it. The team is hoping the video — and more importantly, its message — will go viral. "We want to create a movement to encourage people to make changes that will last," Bhatti says. Because, as Iudiciani sings, "being healthy is being free."
Watch the video below.
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