I am finishing up the second semester of school and seeing that I have a huge passion for pediatric and neonatal nursing I choose to do a huge paper on reducing the nosie level in the NICU. I know that there are studies out there that talk about how critical it is to keep the noise level down, but I would love to know how realistic can that be. I would so very much appreciate if a NICU nurse would respond and allow me to pick her brain. This class is suppose to be taught in the last semester of school were I would have already gone through my peds/obgyn rotation but my school decided to move it up. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you sooo much
Stressed out !!!
Apr 30, '12
There is info online about NICU's that are making many changes, and the how and why of it. Some are even making huge remodeling efforts that use seperate rooms that house a few incubators each that are off of the main room. When an infant needs care they pull that one incubator out of the room and do the care in the center room, so all the infants do not have to hear all the fuss. One ven brought in a professional ceilo player and said they noticed immediate positive responses from the infants, especially from one in particular that was having a really hard time...the nurse was crying when she said she could tell he was finally feeling a little peace from his pain and stress.
Apr 30, '12
Well, my nicu has all private rooms, no TV watching in the rooms, no cell phone
use in the rooms etc. I think it's great. I never worked in the older NICU (this one being built only 3 years ago) so I don't know what the open floor nicu with bays was like but I can only imagine the chaos and stress of all that noise, lights etc. Our nicu is typically very quiet and if a baby is super sensitive (like those PPHN-ers or micro's) when we are done with cares we can turn the lights out, close the door and let them be. The monitors are still visible from outside the rooms and the alarms go to our phones. We also have the ability to pull up a patients monitor on our other patients monitor so we can "watch" the other kiddo from our other patients room. We typically only have 1 or 2 patients in this unit as well.
Not sure if that helped at all but that's my experience!
Apr 30, '12
thanks guys, i have been watching vids on YouTube that show how some hospitals run their NICU and I can see how they try to minimize the noise. Your comments really help as well, I know I have a lot more info to collect but you guys have given me a good start. Thanks a TON!!!!
May 1, '12
As a RN and a mom of a premie I can say the noise level in the NICU is not only a stressor for the babies but also for the parents. I have been a pediatric nurse and worked occasionally in a NICU, but it wasn't until I was there as a mom that I truely understood how important the noise level was. The beeping of machines is constant, not sure if they can fix that one, but as you left the NICU at then end of an extremely stressful day with your baby you hear beeps and alarms in your sleep. Many babies are irritable those first few days or weeks in the NICU and every little noise or touch irritates them, it is hard on the family to see your baby in distress and not even be able to touch them to show them you are there. I think any way to limit the noise and caos in that stressful environment would be a wonderful improvement. After we got home from the NICU, my baby was so use to the noise that she wasn't able to sleep in a quiet home environment and we have to run a noisy humidifier as white noise so she is able to sleep.
Good luck on your paper and your career choice in Peds or NICU, you will love it
) I know I do.
May 1, '12
Thanks I can see how a baby could get used to noise then when there isnt any they dont know what to do. Im sure that the beeping machines are the #1 cause of noise in the NICU , there are machines that can adjust the volume of the alarms or that only alarm in citical sitution like HR drops, and decrease in O2 sat more than 5%, but of course withe very soluiton there is a barrier i am finding out and its calle $$$$$$.
Thank you for your response and thank for the well wished I hope i can get a good grade on this paper and be able to enjoy my peds/ob rotation in the fall.
May 1, '12
As it is, I did a research paper recently (working on my RN-BSN) that included a sub-topic of noise in the NICU. I don't know if you have access to a good journal search engine (my college uses EBSCOhost) where you would be able to read the whole article, but there is a lot out there written about this topic. One of the big take-home messages is that noise can severely affect a sensitive infant including affecting their oxygen saturations. It can affect their long-term neurodevelopment and the extent of that is just now being explored. Another important point is that healthcare providers are the source of a lot of the preventable noise in the NICU.
Hoping you have access to a good search feature at school, try looking up the article "Infant Neurobehavioral Development" by Lester et al in the journal: Seminars in Perinatology, Volume 35, issue 1, Feb. 2011. It is a very long article with all kinds of detailed information, including covering the effects of noise on the preterm infant. The list of articles at the end was one of my greatest resources and has at least 4 articles covering noise in the NICU. I bet 1/2 my research paper sprung from the information in this article and sources I tracked from the bibliography section.
May 1, '12
Thanks i have access to EBSCOhost ill def look into that article. Thanks
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