Noise measurements in an acute Australian hospital

Jesse Coombs, Md Ayub, Tim Schultz, Rick Weichula, Anthony Zander, Lynette Cusack, Joanne Dollard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Many studies have shown that hospital staff and patients are subject to noise levels in excess of those specified in the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. This article presents the results of a single-centre study of noise in four wards in an acute hospital in Adelaide, Australia. The study measured noise in multi-bed bays, as well as nurse stations, and involved continuous noise monitoring between one and three days. For 4-bed and 6-bed patient bays, as well as nurse stations, the maximum, minimum and average equivalent 1-minute A-weighted sound levels were relatively constant from 22:00 until 06:00, increase from 06:00 until 09:00, remain raised until 18:00, and then decrease from 18:00 until 22:00. Measured average equivalent A-weighted noise levels for nurse stations and patient rooms were 56.6 dB(A) and 54.8 dB(A) respectively. Noise levels were higher in the 6-bed bays compared to the 4-bed bays with average equivalent A-weighted noise levels of 55.7 and 54.3 dB(A) respectively. The results were consistent with similar hospital studies, with noise levels exceeding WHO guidelines for patient comfort.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society 2021
Subtitle of host publicationMaking Waves, AAS 2021
Place of PublicationToowong, Queensland
PublisherAustralian Acoustical Society
Pages131-138
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781713844266
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event2021 Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society 2021: Making Waves, AAS 2021 - Woolongong, Australia
Duration: 21 Feb 202223 Feb 2022

Publication series

NameAnnual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society 2021: Making Waves, AAS 2021

Conference

Conference2021 Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society 2021: Making Waves, AAS 2021
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityWoolongong
Period21/02/2223/02/22

Keywords

  • hospital noise
  • hospital ward noise
  • Acute hospital setting
  • Adelaide
  • patient rest
  • Noise levels
  • healthcare provider fatigue

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