Noise level at night

  1. 0
    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 noise levels? Does the staff mix effect your noise level? What did you or your unit do about addressing a loudmouth? How much of the noise level was environmental like doors, carts, pumps, vents, etc?

    I am curious to see if you all are having the same issues we are.

    Thank you!

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  2. 41 Comments...

  3. 1
    Some things you cannot help. In some of the older parts of the hospital where I work, some of the patient rooms are in hallways that are the equivalent of major roads in hospitals. If you need to get places, you have to go through these hallways and past the patient rooms. More traffic=more noise.
    Most of those old floors have been rebuilt to be more like separate wings. The only people walking in the halls there have business in that unit.
    Mercifully, the invention of the pager has cut down on use of the overhead pager to emergencies only like Code Blue and Rapid Response only. Does your hospital use overhead pages for emergencies only?
    All doors on our ICUs were worked on by plant engineering to open more quietly.
    Quiet time between certain hours was tried, but the plan fizzled out. Occasionally we get emails reminding us to respond promptly to alarms.
    SC_RNDude likes this.
  4. 1
    getting squeaky equipment repaired helps. We put up "yakker trackers" in nurses' stations occassionally to remind them not to be loud. We have some lights out at quiet times to remind people, and that will work just fine till someone falls. We have signs in the elevators. I suggest we tell all the visitors WITH KIDS to go home.
    SC_RNDude likes this.
  5. 0
    When I had surgery last year I couldn't believe how inconsiderate the nurses were at night. I was right next to the nurses station and one in particular-mine-had the biggest mouth. I could hear every word that she said. The Facebook page of the hospital has had several complaints from other patients about night noise-mainly loud nurses-and the person who runs it said they would bring the issue to the attention of the NM.

    No, the hospital is not the Hilton, as some midlevel provider told me the day she discharged me, but I'd like to think the nurses would have enough common sense to know that talking loud and loud laughter is inappropriate on a hospital floor when patients are trying to sleep.
  6. 1
    I tell every pt that comes in that between q4 vitals (or more), nurse assessments, meds, q shift ambulation and provider assessments, they will be getting less sleep than they anticipate. I always add: "it's like having a new baby.. There's no sleeping at the hospital, catch it when you can."
    SC_RNDude likes this.
  7. 2
    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
    1326luck and imintrouble like this.
  8. 0
    I know my hospital uses the loud floor cleaner at MIDNIGHT. Dumb and inconsiderate to patients. Otherwise we try to be quiet. We have centralized nursing stations and some floors have pods in halls as well. I keep doors closed when possible. Our rooms also have fans and tvs and I tell the patient that using them at night may be more tolerable noise than hospital noise. Pages do happen over the intercoms. Sometimes the operator accidentally pages a dial tone (?) I don't know how that happens.

    I have few noise complaints overall on the floor. The ICU patients complain occasionally and it's hard to maintain composure. I then feel they're ready to be transferred out.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
  9. 0
    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
  10. 8
    I personally dislike when co-workers at talking extremely loud at the nursing station at night. I don't even like it during the day. There is enough noise in the hospital, we don't need the additional noise from a nurse that cannot control his/her volume. It is not the patients fault if you are sleepy or have other responsibilities at home. Your job is to control your volume. When I worked nights in ICU with a loud coworker, we had to gently remind her of "sleep protocol". The patients started to complain, which is why we all had to be sure we weren't talking loud.
  11. 1
    I agree, there are some things that you cannot help. We turn down the lights at night time and shut the door for most patients to help keep the noise level down. Staff mix also makes a big difference. I work in the beginning of the week and we can be loud sometimes, but I've noticed that patients complain about the weekend staff because they are VERY loud. We have tried to tell them that patients complain about the noise level and to keep it down, and it lasts for maybe 5 minutes and they are loud again.
    my_purpose likes this.

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