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UHNM Employee of the Month Award Winner: James Mycock

A Nursing Assistant who is using the power of music to help with the recovery of his patients has been awarded UHNM’s Employee of the Month.

James Mycock has been holding music therapy sessions on the Acute Rehabilitation Trauma Unit (ARTU) at the Royal Stoke University Hospital for the last three months. 

James encourages patients to engage with his music as part of their cognitive rehabilitation. 

He was nominated for the award by Leanne Allcock, Junior Sister. 

Leanne said: “The benefits of music therapy were highlighted to us during one of our weekly team meetings, and being aware of James’ background I approached him to see if a weekly music session with our specialised rehabilitation patients was something he would be interested in. 

“One we started these sessions it quickly became apparent how much of a success they were, not only with patients but also with the morale of family members and staff too. 

“James has since gone above and beyond, spending his own time researching more into music therapy and rehabilitation, and how he could adapt his sessions to make them more beneficial and interactive for our patients.” 

James, who has worked at UHNM for 10 years said: “Music is so important to me, it’s always been. I’ve been a musician since I was 12, and my aunty was a folk musician when I was growing up. I did a music diploma, degree, and masters, and I’ve been as far as Japan touring with bands. 

“I’ve always been amazed with the link between music and care. I’m always singing on the job, so I think it was only a matter of time before somebody said would you like to do some music therapy. So I had a little look into it and thought it might be really good for the patients. 

“We’re about three months into the sessions and it’s going really well- people love it. 

“I have patients with mixed abilities. Some sing along to songs we all know, others more early on in their rehabilitation journey just follow the lyrics with their eyes. But it all encourages cognitive simulation, the mix of happy and sad songs trigger memories and emotions that can help work through trauma. 

“We take requests from patients throughout the week in the lead up to the sessions and if there’s a patient who’s a little bit down and has a favourite song I’ll surprise them with it and they really like that. It doesn’t matter to me if I’m playing to one person or 20, as long as they’re getting something from it that’s the purpose.”

After presenting James with his award, Tracy Bullock, UHNM Chief Executive said: “It’s fabulous what James is doing and worthwhile and beneficial for the rehabilitation and wellbeing of our patients. We all know the importance of music therapy and the fact he’s doing it off his own back as well as his Nursing Assistant role is even more special.” 

Speaking about his nomination, James said: “It feels amazing to be nominated by my colleagues, on ARTU, who I have nothing but respect for. I started on this Unit on the Nurse Bank and took the job because I really like it here. It’s a tough, fast-paced ward and can be tough, but I love my colleagues and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”