Learn to Shuffle:
Michael Manning and Jayne Knoff bow their heads over the ipod, looking through the list of songs
Cancer Center lends iPods, instruction
Volunteer Jayne Knoff helps patient Michael Manning learn to use an iPod
"I never heard of a Johnny Cash song called 'Shuffle,'"
Knoff explains that the "Shuffle" button at the top
of the list isn't a song, but a button that will mix up the
order of the songs in the playlist. Manning chuckles and
keeps asking questions.
The Patient Education Resource Center is now lending
iPods, and they come with something better than
instruction manuals: the iPod Squad. Knoff, a University
of Michigan pre-med student, is a member of that squad.
She walks the halls of University Hospital's cancer units,
handing out iPods and teaching borrowers to use them.
"Many of our patients have never used an iPod until
this program," said PERC Librarian Ruti Volk. "Sometimes
they're reluctant or apprehensive, but we've had
patients come in and say, 'Now I understand why my
grandchildren like it so much.'"
The iPods come loaded with a wide variety of music;
National Public Radio programs including "Fresh Air"
and "Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me"; educational podcasts
about cancer; and a few videos, including "The Last
Lecture," by Randy Pausch. Many of the iPods are Touch
models, offering Internet access via the Cancer Center's
guest WiFi network in outpatient areas.
The music was selected as part of the PERC's new
CD-lending service, Healing Music to Go. Cancer Center
music therapist Megan Gunnell selected about 50 CDs,
including classical, pop, jazz, folk, new age, rock and
country music. The iPods include 18 of the CDs, which
were chosen to offer patients a way to reduce stress,
increase relaxation and improve emotional coping and
comfort through music.
"It helps to have a diversion to help with highly anxious times, especially if waiting is involved," Gunnell
said. "We want to do whatever we can to reduce that
burden. Having access to music that is familiar or
soothing can help."
Thanks to a donation from the Coon family, patients
and families in outpatient areas may borrow iPods in the
PERC, on Level B-1. Outpatient lending requires a valid
driver's license be left in lieu of the device; all iPods must
be returned by 5 p.m. On inpatient units, the lending
period is 24 hours. If a patient would like to continue
to use an iPod the next day, another fully charged device
is delivered to the room.
All iPods are cleaned after each use and stored in
sterile bags. Disposable earbud covers are provided.
Manning, a 49-year-old Bay City resident who has
melanoma, said he's been listening a lot to the Eagles
and Johnny Cash on the iPod during his hospital stay for
"I don't sleep at all, sometimes. The chemo gets to
me, and this helps," he said. "If you've gotta be in here,
it helps to be in a comfortable environment with the
When Chemo is Your Desert Island
We want to know what's on your iPod. What do you like to listen to when you want to calm frazzled nerves?
Or, when you're trying to get over the wall of fatigue? Please visit: playlist.com
and let us know!
Never downloaded music before? Print out our How to Use Playlist.com guide - opens as a .pdf.
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