Studies have shown that music can have numerous health benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving memory and cognition.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense that those who work in health care would be drawn to the world of music.
In fact, two St. Luke’s staff members have taken their love of music to the next level: They’re DJs for Radio Boise, a non-profit community radio station.
“It’s great,” said Mia Salgado, a registered nurse who works in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU). “I think we need medical people (in radio). You don’t really think about your doctor or your nurse or your PA as being a DJ, but Radio Boise kind of gives us that opportunity.”
Salgado’s passion for both radio and nursing dates back to her college days. In fact, she became aware of Radio Boise while studying nursing at the University of Vermont.
“I was just really interested in community radio, and one day I went down a rabbit hole and discovered Radio Boise,” she said.
After St. Luke’s hired Salgado and she moved to Boise, she knew she wanted to try to get involved with Radio Boise.
“The reason I like Radio Boise is the show lengths are on the shorter side, so you get bluegrass and then you hear country, and then you get into indie rock and after that you might get some public affairs,” Salgado said. “It’s just so much variety in a single day, and there’s a show for everyone. I think it’s cool how there is such a wide variety of music.”
Salgado hosts two shows on Radio Boise. “UltraNIGHT” airs from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning, while “Party of One” airs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday afternoons.
"'Party of One' is my main show, and that show is mostly indie rock and electronic music,” Salgado said.
One hour after that show ends, she begins her night shift at St. Luke’s.
It makes for a busy – but satisfying – day for her, when she can enjoy her time behind the mic and also on the hospital floor.
“You have to be quick on your feet and do some critical thinking (in PACU),” she said. “It’s really a great team. There’s not really a hierarchy, and everybody just works together so well.
“I really like the feeling of teamwork … and the amount of trust everybody has in each other. It’s been a positive experience, and I literally think everybody should work for St. Luke’s.”
Salgado even inspired another St. Luke’s team member to moonlight as a DJ.
After hearing about Salgado’s shows at Radio Boise, Matt Haga asked Salgado how he might be able to get involved. A physician assistant, he submitted a proposal, and now has his own show, “Sonic Moon,” that airs from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Tuesday mornings.
“The foundation of my show is based on jazz and it’s derivatives … but it’s expanding more to include all genres,” Haga said. “It’s really about what catches my ear, but there’s always jazz in there.”
Three years into his job, Haga calls it “a great experience,” adding that he works with “a great group of docs.”
Haga said it’s been fun to watch his show continue to grow as he hears new and different music since he started hosting it a few years ago.
“It’s always evolving,” he said. “One of the things I like about being on at 2 a.m. is that it’s so late I feel like I have a lot of freedom to experiment.”
How to hear Salgado and Haga: Radio Boise can be found at 93.5 FM in downtown Boise or at 89.9 in Boise and beyond. Shows are also streamed at RadioBoise.org. The website includes recent archived shows, including “Party of One,” “UltraNIGHT” and “Sonic Moon.”
Meet the ‘Night Nurse’
Avid listeners of Radio Boise might be familiar with another DJ who likes to combine her passion for music with health care.
Sarah Curtis’ Radio Boise show, “Necessary Luxuries,” airs from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Her DJ pseudonym? Night Nurse.
“When I started at Radio Boise, my show was at nighttime,” Curtis said. “They said, ‘Don’t use your real name because you’re here alone in the middle of the night.’”
Hence Night Nurse, an homage to Gregory Isaacs’ reggae song and the fact that Curtis is a registered nurse who is also studying to become a family nurse practitioner.
In fact, there’s a chance that Curtis joins Salgado and Haga and becomes a St. Luke’s employee. The Gonzaga student has already completed one clinical trial at St. Luke’s, and has started another rotation with Janet Roscoe, a nurse practitioner who works in women's health.
As much as Curtis enjoys spinning vinyl – her first record was Bob Dylan’s “Desire” – she is also looking forward to furthering her career in medicine.
Curtis plans to graduate this December, and she hopes to stay in Boise and take advantage of her newest degree – while spinning records on the side, of course.
Chris Langrill is a writer and copy editor for the St. Luke’s Communications and Marketing department.