When surveyed, our own patients are telling us that our hospital is not always as quiet as it should be.
Research also tells us that the negative impact of high noise levels include: annoyance, sleep disruption, decreased oxygen saturation, elevated blood pressure, increased heart and respiration rates among NICU patients, decreased rate of wound healing and higher incidence of re-hospitalization.
We can all start to help create a more healing environment for our patients TODAY by making a conscious effort to lower our voices when entering and/or working in patient areas. Also, closing patient doors respects privacy and immediately creates a quieter environment. One thing we learn in Patients VOICE is that it is ok to kindly remind our co-workers when their voices might get too loud and disrupt our patients' rest.
While closing patient doors is not feasible for all patients, our nurses and leadership must focus on closing doors as often as is safely possible. In those cases, it is important to help your patients understand the importance of quiet and state the following: "Rest is a very important part of your healing process, and your privacy is very important to us. So, unless you prefer otherwise, I would like to close your door to create a quiet environment for you."