Korean J Adult Nurs.  2020 Feb;32(1):1-9. 10.7475/kjan.2020.32.1.1.

Noise Level by Type in Adult Intensive Care Units of a Tertiary Teaching Hospital in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Unit Manager, Neurological Intensive Care Unit, Seoul ST. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Unit Manager, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Seoul ST. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Unit Manager, Cardiac Care Unit, Seoul ST. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Critical Care Team Leader, Nursing Department, Seoul ST. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Professor, College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. ysyoo@catholic.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
This study aimed to investigate the actual noise conditions in adult Intensive Care Units (ICUs) according to type, time, day of the week, and area.
METHODS
This study was conducted from February to March 2018. ICU noise levels were examined using a noise meter with a microphone an amplifier, auditory correction circuit, and indicator meter capable of directly reading A-weighted decibels (dBA). Noise was measured for 24 hours for seven days and the average dBA, maximum dBA, and minimum dBA were recorded.
RESULTS
The highest mean noise level was 58.48 dBA (range of 57.62~65.27), while lowest was 51.65 dBA (range of 51.36~52.86). Average noise levels on weekdays and weekends were over 50 dBA(the open zone was measured at 56.61 dBA, while the isolation zone was measured at 52.45 dBA. Further, daytime, evening work-times and weekdays were measured above 60 dBA, while nighttime noise levels were below 60 dBA. Finally, average noise levels during turnarounds, shift changes, and rounding times were above 60 dBA; open zone had higher average noise levels than the isolation zone.
CONCLUSION
This study showed that ICU noise levels exceeded those recommended by the World Health Organization regardless of type of noise, day of the week, or time. Therefore, studies are proposed to identify the need or importance of noise management by ICU personnel to reduce noise in ICUs. It also proposes studies to develop and apply noise reduction strategies that can be easily used in practice, reflecting the various characteristics of noise in ICUs.


MeSH Terms

Adult*
Critical Care*
Hospitals, Teaching*
Humans
Intensive Care Units*
Korea*
Noise*
World Health Organization
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