When people hear the phrase noise pollution, the first thing that comes to their mind are honking cars and jackhammers. The truth is that ducking indoors doesn’t spare you from excessive noise. At work, people spend eight or more hours in enclosed spaces where sounds ricochet off the walls and straight into their ears.
Nowhere is this truer than in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Medical staff are required to perform their duties amid doctor-patient chatter, the rolling of gurney wheels, and the whir of cleaning equipment, among many other distracting sounds. These sounds that many consider a normal part of the workday can have serious effects on people.
Effect on Patients
Rest plays an important role in a quick recovery. Unfortunately, patients must contend with the round-the-clock bustle of a hospital. According to a study published by Harvard Medical School, hospital patients identified excessive noise as a major factor that negatively affects their recuperation. The more noise that surrounds them, the faster their heart rates became, and the harder it was to fall asleep.
Effect on Staff
It’s not just the patients who are bothered by noise, however. In a study conducted by Lindy-Lee Folscher et al, doctors were asked to answer an Objective Structured Clinical Evaluation (OSCE) test both in the presence and absence of noise. Of the total sample, 93% complained about difficulty concentrating, 88% claimed to have felt additional pressure, and 81% became irritated. In a profession where rapid decision is an important part of the job, such interference can literally spell the difference between life and death.
Cutting Down the Noise
While the the World Health Organization states the noise levels in medical facilities should average around 30-35 decibels, peak levels sit closer to 80-95 decibels. One way of reducing this excessive noise is to purchase cleaning equipment that emits less sound.
Fortunately, cleaning equipment providers offer a floor scrubber model that is keen on quietness, some of which produce just 69 decibels of sound. This sits within the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’s (LEED) 70-decibel noise guideline for vacuums, burnishers, and carpet extractors, thus ensuring the most quiet operation for both the patients’ and staff’s benefit.
Indeed, facilities like hospitals have specialized needs when it comes to industrial cleaning equipment. When looking at various floor scrubbers for sale, noise level should be just as important a consideration as cleaning capability.
Controlling The Noise That Comes From Cleaning, CleanLink.com
Noisy Wards Could Threaten Hospital Patients’ Health, HealthDay.com