Perceived and actual noise levels in critical care units

Published on Feb 1, 2017in Intensive and Critical Care Nursing1.652
· DOI :10.1016/j.iccn.2016.06.004
Brittany Lynn White1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UNC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill),
Meg Zomorodi6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UNC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Summary Purpose To compare the noise levels perceived by critical care nurses in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to actual noise levels in the ICU. Methods Following a pilot study ( n =18) and revision of the survey tool, a random sample of nurses were surveyed twice in a 3-day period ( n =108). Nurses perception of noise was compared to the actual sound pressure level using descriptive statistics. Major Results Nurses perceived the ICUs to be noisier than the actual values. The ICU was louder than the recommended noise level for resotrative sleep. This finding raises the question of how we can assist nurses to reduce what they perceive to be a loud environment. Application Future work is needed to develop interventions specifically for nurses to raise awareness of noise in the ICU and to provide them with skills to assist in noise reduction.
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