Quiet at night - L'Infirmière Magazine n° 341 du 15/03/2014 | Espace Infirmier

L'infirmière Magazine n° 341 du 15/03/2014



Florence Nightingale said that « unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care which can be inflicted either on sick or well ». Research indicates that it is a significant barrier to a patient’s physiological and emotional healing during a hospital stay.(1)

At Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, Boston, a steering committee appointed a nurse champion to spearhead their Quiet at Night project and staff were solicited for ideas.

The project team identified ten strategies for reducing nighttime noise on a 44-bed pilot unit. These included installing a noise indicator which flashed yellow and red warning lights when the established sound level was compromised ; using mini-flashlights for vital signs monitoring ; padding the pneumatic tube system with thicker foam and providing headphones to patients using television at night. Quiet hours were introduced from 9 pm to 6 am, when lights were dimmed ; pagers were turned to vibrate ; conversations were moved from hallways to staff rooms. Nurses began to educate patients and their families, introducing the initiative upon admission, supplying earplugs and a Quiet at Night bookmark reminder. Heating and air-conditioning units were checked and repaired. Patient care equipment, such as IV pumps and oxygen saturation monitors, was evaluated and adjusted where possible. 60 % of the pilot unit patients said that the area around their room was « always quiet » after the pilot initiative was completed, compared to 45 % before the pilot.

Voir aussi www.nursezone.com, mots clés : Noise reduction strategies.

1- American Journal of Nursing, December 2013, Vol. 113, No. 12, pp 43-51. Murphy, Bernardo and Dalton, « Quiet at night ».


Unnecessary (adj) Superflu, inutile

Healing (n) Guérison

Stay (n) Séjour

To appoint (v) Nommer (quelqu’un)

Nurse champion (n) Infirmière responsable du projet

To spearhead (v) Lit. : être le fer de lance de ; ici, mener, conduire

To dim (lights) Baisser, tamiser (la lumière)


1. Who plays a role in the Beth Israel Quiet at Night project ?

The hospital steering committee, a nurse champion and her team, all hospital staff (including nurses, maintenance staff), patients and family/visitors.

2. What response did 60 % of the patients give after the pilot scheme ?

The area around their room was « always quiet ».

Discuss : Have you or your patients been affected by unnecessary nocturnal noise ? What strategies can you and your colleagues propose to improve the situation ?

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