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— Clinical

A Nurse’s COVID-19 Playlist

Telemedicine nurse uses music to build patient relationships

During the pandemic, Joe Bautista, a registered nurse at the UC San Diego Health COVID-19 Telemedicine Clinic, collected songs from his patients as part of a satirical “Nurse’s Fee,” in which Bautista would ask each patient to tell him which song best described 2020 for them.

As the pandemic spread and deepened in San Diego, Michele Ritter, MD, and other infectious disease specialists launched the COVID-19 Telemedicine Clinic, which was open to anyone in the community with a recent COVID-19 diagnosis. Through video visits and phone calls, nurses and physicians consulted with people who had mild to moderate symptoms.

Every week, Bautista called and checked in on his patients to ensure they were on their way to recovery at home. These song requests helped Bautista build relationships with his patients, which in turn furthered the healing process by providing a personal connection.

“Music brings us together and is something that everyone can relate to. We all speak the language of music.”

Joe Bautista

Now, Bautista’s COVID-19 playlist has more than 500 songs. Popular titles include “I’m a Survivor” by Destiny’s Child, “House Arrest” by Sofi Tukker, and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones.