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Adventist nurses soothe nervous cath patient with bedside rendering of 'How Great Thou Art'

Music's ability to soothe anxiety hit all the right notes this week as staff members at Adventist Health Bakersfield's Cath Lab sang a beloved hymn to a nervous patient about to undergo a medical treatment.

Adventist spokeswoman Megan Simpson said it started after an unidentified patient was overtaken by fear and panicked shortly before her scheduled procedure.

"I have a bad feeling. I don't want to die," the woman said, according to Simpson.

At that point four nurses stepped up — Alex Blanca, Alvin Tomas, Dana Tomas and Eilene Pham — and joined for a chorus of the patient's favorite hymn, "How Great Thou Art."

A video clip of the event from earlier in the week was sent out Friday afternoon. It showed the nurses standing together near the end of the patient's bed and singing the hymn in harmony behind their surgical masks.

That simple gesture succeeded in calming the patient, said Simpson, who added that the woman came through her procedure "just fine."

The event demonstrated what Simpson called "sacred work in action."

She said the nurses "all took the time to epitomize one of our 'Being Adventist Health' values: BE LOVE, which states, 'Love matters. Treat yourself with love and care so you are free to love and care for others.'"

"Be trustworthy," she added, "love freely and find common ground."