'Beeping is hindering patient recovery'
Keeping noise levels as low as possible helps patients’ rest and recuperation, as nurses know. But sometimes we don’t notice the level of ward noise and can become immune to it.
A recent US study has revealed that overnight noise levels in intensive care units often exceed levels recommended by the World Health Organization. The assumptions seems to be that if patients are asleep, sedated and even unconscious they won’t be affected by the beeping and noises of machines.
However the researchers concluded that sleep disruption was prevalent and could impact on levels of delirium and negatively impact on immune dysfunction, as well as potentially adversely affect outcomes.
It can seem old fashioned in this world of high-tech health care to remember how important rest and sleep are to recovery. Sometimes malfunctioning equipment keeps beeping and being reset without anyone thinking of how it is affecting the patients. And when working at night, it is too easy to forget that others need to rest when the night has become your day.
We all know what it is like to be woken up by a car or house alarm at night and how this affects your performance the next day, giving us some insight into how patients feel about the constant beeping and alarms on hospital wards.