Hospitals are a place for healing, but the atmosphere in one is often stressful. Adding extra noise to an environment like that will only make patients feel uncomfortable. Luckily, there are some simple steps hospitals can take to reduce everyday noise.
1. Change Cart Wheels
Carts with squeaking or thudding wheels can be annoying at best. One way to fix this problem is to use noise reducing casters. These wheels are built to roll more quietly. If it is the joints of the cart that are the problem, try to grease them up. Using a product like WD-40 is helpful in situations in which wheel barrings are rusting or otherwise starting to get old.
2. Lower Machine Volumes
Most machines, in and outside of hospitals, will have an automatic volume. Simply lowering the volume on these machines (other than live-saving alarms and similar equipment) can help to make hospitals quieter and patients sleep better. Hospital directors would do well to encourage hospital staff to either avoid carrying around personal electronics or to keep them on vibrate or silent mode.
3. Restock Supplies in the Daytime
Hospitals are busiest during the day, which is why a lot of hospital employees restock supplies at night. However, this can make for distracting noise at night when patients are trying to sleep. If employees restock supplies during the day, when there is already plenty of noise in the hospital, the little bit of extra sound is likely to go unnoticed. Even if the sound is noticed, it is not likely to be as distracting during the day as it might be at night. If restocking during the usual hospital operating hours, aim for restocking sometime before patients go to sleep for the night.
No patient wants to spend a night in the hospital, but so long as they have to, hospital staff should do whatever they can to make the patient’s experience as good as possible. Reducing noise levels is just one way to do this.