If you’ve ever been in the hospital you already know it’s not the best place for rest. A study by the Mayo Clinic stated that hospital noises during the night can approach the same decibels of noise as chain saws or jackhammers. Other studies have shown that patients need rest, sleep & a calming (quiet) environment to heal faster. According to Six Stigma,
Noise impacts patients in many ways including:
* Sleep deprivation
* Increased anxiety
* Increase in noise-induced stress
* A “startle reflex” resulting in physiological responses:
o Facial grimacing
o Increase in blood pressure
o Higher respiratory rate
o Increased heart rate & vasoconstriction
Continuous noise may alter a patient’s memory, increase agitation, lower pain tolerance.
Steps are being taken to make it quieter, including adding padding to clanking clipboards & quieter folding-towel dispensers.
What’s your experience with noises when you are in the hospital?
Here are some things that drive us nuts:
- The beeping of machines when nothing is wrong (or when the tubing of an I.V. is sensitive to the slightest bend)
- The changing of “the guard” (nurses shifts)
- The hospital air-conditioning unit that seems to be broken
- The velcro of every blood pressure cuff or other item that they RIP off you in the middle of the night
- Visitor or television volume of patients you share a room with
- Banging cars (what, are they playing bumper carts in the hallway?)
- Pill smashers
- Leaf blowers right outside our window