Noise levels in a General Surgical Ward : a descriptive study

Christensen, Martin (2005) Noise levels in a General Surgical Ward : a descriptive study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 14(2), pp. 156-164.

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Aims and objectives.  This study was undertaken to measure and analyse levels of acoustic noise in a General Surgical Ward.

Method.  Measurements were undertaken using the Norsonic 116 sound level meter (SLM) recording noise levels in the internationally agreed ‘A’ weighted scale. Noise level data and observational data as to the number of staff present were obtained and recorded at 5-min intervals over three consecutive days.

Results.  Results of noise level analysis indicated that mean noise level within this clinical area was 42.28 dB with acute spikes reaching 70 dB(A). The lowest noise level attained was that of 36 dB(A) during the period midnight to 7 a.m. Non-parametric testing, using Spearman's Rho (two-tailed), found a positive relationship between the number of staff present and the level of noise recorded, indicating that the presence of hospital personnel strongly influences the level of noise within this area.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Whilst the results of this may seem self-evident in many respects the problems of excessive noise production and the exposure to it for patients, hospital personnel and relatives alike continues unabated. What must be of concern is the psychophysiological effects excessive noise exposure has on individuals, for example, decreased wound healing, sleep deprivation and cardiovascular stimulation.

Impact and interest:

30 citations in Scopus
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21 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 68988
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: noise, noise in hospitals
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2004.01040.x
ISSN: 1365-2702
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Clinical Nursing - Secondary (Acute Care) (111003)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Deposited On: 21 Mar 2014 01:24
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2014 01:24

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