hospital noise: reduction and pt. education

  1. Hello everybody,

    I am trying to come up with a tool to educate patients about "unavoidable" hospital noise (iv pumps, bed alarms, call lights, cardiac monitors, etc). I was thinking of a handout...
    Does your facility do this? If so, could you give me a couple of pointers? I am not sure how to go about writing one of my own.
    My unit is currently batteling with bad Press Ganey scores on noise levels and we are going to have a "Yakker Tracker" (sp?), and we will also be implementing hourly rounds.
    I do believe that we are on the right track here, however, my research online leaves this gap regarding patient education about noise.
    Yes, we are very noisy (hospitals), and yes, we are trying to keep it down... but there are things that we can do nothing about (bed alarms, cardiac monitors and so on).
    Any input is greatly appreciated!

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    About Diana,RN

    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 50; Likes: 33
    med-surg nurse
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in LTC, med-surg


  3. by   ginger58
    I think I would explain what I could on admission or when I was setting up an IV pump, or whatever equipment. The noises are troublesome but I think if it was explained as a patient safety issue they might understand. But I too know that when a nurse sets the IV pump alarm to the loudest so she can hear it, she's no where around when it goes off! So I set it lower because it is deafening to the patient, visitors and nurses. I do feel for patients exposed to these noises but I'm not sure what we can do except talk to manufacturers of the equipment.

    As far as writing up an explanation, I have never felt that patients read much of what's handed to them.

    I hope you can find a solution!
  4. by   wooh
    I joke with people on admission that if something in the room starts beeping, to let us know, we'll TRY to make it stop! I turn my alarms down as low as I can now. I know when the IVs are going to go off, I just make sure I remember them. At least it's not deafening to the patient. And I make sure to point out to them that I'm lowering the levels (after all, it's not what we do, it's what the patients know we do that shows up on PG.) Monitors, we've got central, so I turn those as low as possible, and try to get them removed when I can. A toddler ambulating in the halls does NOT need continuous pulse ox when awake.
    But really, it's a catch 22. Either they're awakened and mad they didn't get any rest. Or we're so good we do our work without waking them, and we "never came to check" on the patient.