Medicine: Jingle Bells

Student nurses, with dark capes billowing behind their white uniforms, pranced into a back ward at Central Oklahoma State Hospital at Norman one day last week. Their exaggerated steps kept time with the firm beat of The Stars and Stripes Forever, played fortissimo over the public-address system. In their hands, accenting the rhythm still more, they held tambourines, clappers, castanets, maracas, and even bongo drums. Other nurses, also armed with noisemakers, stood around among the patients.

Despite the determined assault on their senses of sight and sound, many of the patients seemed not to notice. They were long-term cases of the type...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!