Noise level at night - page 2

by NoonsRN 7,382 Views | 41 Comments

Hello everyone! I wanted to get some opinions and suggestions about reducing noise levels during the night shift. What are the main sources of noise for your unit/floor? Was there a program/education put in place to reduce... Read More


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    And the sick ICU patients care because??? I understand nurses are human. However, I still don't think it is appropriate to be talking at the top of your voice at night. I've seen ICU psychosis due to sleep deprivation. It is not a pretty sight. One of the things we strived to do in ICU was to keep noise to a minimum. We cannot control pumps, doors closing and etc. but we can control the volume in our voice.
    Quote from IdislikeCODEbrowns
    Maybe that 'Big Mouth' nurse you were referring to at the nurses station was trying her best to keep herself awake bc she not only works nights but has 2 small children she must 'watch' during the day when she should be sleeping, and IMO I'd much prefer a laughing nurse than one who's fast asleep at the computer and not able to safely care for her patients, or maybe that 'Big Mouth' was blowing off steam bc she just lost a patient and was trying to handle that stress, nurses are human and just bc they're awake at night when the rest of the world is sleeping doesn't mean they have to play dead so people don't miss out on their beauty sleep, I do agree w/ being respectful of noise levels, you do have to realize its not a hotel and things are moving 24/7, yes even when you're trying to sleep
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    Quote from IdislikeCODEbrowns
    Maybe that 'Big Mouth' nurse you were referring to at the nurses station was trying her best to keep herself awake bc she not only works nights but has 2 small children she must 'watch' during the day when she should be sleeping, and IMO I'd much prefer a laughing nurse than one who's fast asleep at the computer and not able to safely care for her patients, or maybe that 'Big Mouth' was blowing off steam bc she just lost a patient and was trying to handle that stress, nurses are human and just bc they're awake at night when the rest of the world is sleeping doesn't mean they have to play dead so people don't miss out on their beauty sleep, I do agree w/ being respectful of noise levels, you do have to realize its not a hotel and things are moving 24/7, yes even when you're trying to sleep
    Ehhh......but I think it's still important to consider volume. I'm starting on a new unit and just started orienting on nights and I've been pretty shocked at how loud certain staff members can be. It's not everyone, and certain mixes of people seem to be louder than others, but I've been pretty surprised at how loud it can get. Like, hanging out at the bar telling jokes and trying to be heard over music loud. Cackling laughter and foot stomping. People talking over each other.

    I think there's got to be a happy medium between expecting hotel-like silence and hooting and hollering like you're at a backyard barbeque.
    B in the USA, sapphire18, prnqday, and 2 others like this.
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    Quote from IdislikeCODEbrowns
    Maybe that 'Big Mouth' nurse you were referring to at the nurses station was trying her best to keep herself awake bc she not only works nights but has 2 small children she must 'watch' during the day when she should be sleeping, and IMO I'd much prefer a laughing nurse than one who's fast asleep at the computer and not able to safely care for her patients, or maybe that 'Big Mouth' was blowing off steam bc she just lost a patient and was trying to handle that stress, nurses are human and just bc they're awake at night when the rest of the world is sleeping doesn't mean they have to play dead so people don't miss out on their beauty sleep, I do agree w/ being respectful of noise levels, you do have to realize its not a hotel and things are moving 24/7, yes even when you're trying to sleep

    I'm usually a big advocate for supporting your fellow nurse, allowing nurses to vent in a safe place (here) and expecting the best of our colleagues. And yes, I'll cut a colleague some slack if she's been less than 100% charming to me because she may have things going on at home that are stressing her out. Most complaints about "the nurse was mean to me" or "rude nurses" involve someone who takes offense too easily over something that wasn't that big of a deal in the first place. But this post is blasting posters for advocating for PATIENTS who need to sleep. And patients do need to sleep. I'm really sorry for the nurse who has child care issues and cannot sleep at home, but nevertheless we need to be mindful that night time is the only time patients are free from interruptions for long enough to actually get some sleep. There's no excuse for being loud in the nurse's station.

    That comment about nurses having to play dead so people don't miss out on their beauty sleep is offensive. I'm sorry Idislikecodebrowns is so angry about working night shift, but let's be considerate of out PATIENTS.
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    Yeah, they buff the floors at night and then blame the nurses for the noise level.

    I think the biggest offenders are the TVs, patients who want them left on all night while they sleep, or the ones who wake up in the middle of the night and turn the TV on so loud it can be heard all the way down the hall.
    Esme12 likes this.
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    Quote from Sun0408
    Its hard to keep things quiet at night.. Just like during the day, you have vents, doors, pumps, carts, codes, emergencies, needed supplies etc.. The noise, work, assessments, meds, baths, dressing changes etc does not stop because it is now night. A loud mouth, tell them to tone it down but a whispering night shift will never happen.. We are trying to do our work and yes talking is part of it.. Sleep will happen when you get home and no longer have q1h neuro checks, assessments and meds all hours of the night.

    For AAO pts, we do close the door so it is a little bit better for them. We also turn down the lights at night to help.. At my last facility we gave a goody bag with soft ear plugs and a sleeping mask
    I completely agree with the post. When patients are complaining about sleep and whatnot and then ask to stay another night, I try to explain they will heal better at home, in their own bed where they are not be woken up every hour.

    If it something like a loud talker, that can be helped and hopefully something can be done about it. I'm sure they don't realize they're yelling?
    redhead_NURSE98! likes this.
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    Quote from IdislikeCODEbrowns
    Maybe that 'Big Mouth' nurse you were referring to at the nurses station was trying her best to keep herself awake bc she not only works nights but has 2 small children she must 'watch' during the day when she should be sleeping, and IMO I'd much prefer a laughing nurse than one who's fast asleep at the computer and not able to safely care for her patients, or maybe that 'Big Mouth' was blowing off steam bc she just lost a patient and was trying to handle that stress, nurses are human and just bc they're awake at night when the rest of the world is sleeping doesn't mean they have to play dead so people don't miss out on their beauty sleep, I do agree w/ being respectful of noise levels, you do have to realize its not a hotel and things are moving 24/7, yes even when you're trying to sleep
    Yes this!!!
    I'm sure I'm guilty of laughing a little too loudly on my night shifts. But guess what? I'm also the nurse that stays fully awake an alert my whole shift at all times. A few of my coworkers that are always quiet and respectful on nights are also the ones with their heads on the desk with eyes closed and all disoriented when something happens. If I were a pt I'd take the louder alert nurse anyday.
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    Quote from IdislikeCODEbrowns
    Maybe that 'Big Mouth' nurse you were referring to at the nurses station was trying her best to keep herself awake bc she not only works nights but has 2 small children she must 'watch' during the day when she should be sleeping, and IMO I'd much prefer a laughing nurse than one who's fast asleep at the computer and not able to safely care for her patients, or maybe that 'Big Mouth' was blowing off steam bc she just lost a patient and was trying to handle that stress, nurses are human and just bc they're awake at night when the rest of the world is sleeping doesn't mean they have to play dead so people don't miss out on their beauty sleep, I do agree w/ being respectful of noise levels, you do have to realize its not a hotel and things are moving 24/7, yes even when you're trying to sleep
    I'd rather have an awake nurse who is respectful of her surroundings. There's such a thing as striking a balance.

    Generalizing quiet and respectful employees on night shift as "always sleeping" and "disoriented", like another poster did, (and presuming that being loud = being alert) is a dangerous and slippery slope.
    Last edit by Calabria on Mar 18, '13
    sapphire18, prnqday, JDZ344, and 2 others like this.
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    Quote from Calabria

    Generalizing quiet and respectful employees on night shift as "always sleeping" and "disoriented", like another poster did, (and presuming that being loud = being alert) is a dangerous and slippery slope.
    It's also just not true. Some of us can be awake and respectful.
    B in the USA, Aurora77, prnqday, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from hiddencatRN

    It's also just not true. Some of us can be awake and respectful.
    ^This!!

    The more my pts rest, the better they can get out and not stay any longer, and be vulnerable to other complications.
    texasmum and prnqday like this.
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    Sorry to offend anyone but my beef w/ this whole issue is that I am seeing more and more pts who pick and choose when they want to be treated like pts and when they want to be 'paying customers who feel its ok to be waited on 24/7, I understand controlling noise level around others, nights or not, but its a slippery slope when people start forgetting what a hospital's are for (to get better) not to have a jug of ice water 3/4 filled w/ ice and the rest water and heaven forbid that there's too much ice... Or what about those pts who insist on staff putting signs on their doors saying 'do not interrupt between 11pm and 7am' really,this is a ******* hospital and you'll probably be the pt who turns around and sues bc your potassium level was 2.5 and had an arrhythmia but was refusing to get labs rechecked at 4am...hospitals aren't hotels bottom line, it's not pleasant and you shouldn't like being there more than your own home


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