Long-Term Care

Trainer's tip: Hours of sleep

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, December 1, 2011

An effective noise reduction and control program combines human noise control with environmental and equipment modifications. Human intervention and simple environmental repairs and changes will markedly reduce noise levels. Some approaches for noise reduction during residents’ hours of sleep include:

  • Coordinating and limiting nursing interventions between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., and refraining from using direct light, telephones, intercoms, televisions, and radios during those hours. If you are in the room for one purpose, complete other tasks as well. For example, when assisting with a bedpan or giving a pain medication at 3:30 a.m., also take the 4 a.m. vital signs.
  • Avoiding lengthy conversations when giving care during the night.
  • Eliminating use of the overhead paging system altogether between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., and limiting the use of the intercom paging system during that time to areas other than resident rooms and hallways.
  • Requesting cooperation to reduce noise from the department heads of other departments.
  • Rescheduling restocking and supply deliveries to an hour when residents would be expected to be awake; don’t do it in the middle of the night.
  • Posting signs above hall phones near resident rooms requesting that staff members not use the phones between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Evaluating the need for routine portable x-rays during the night and reschedule them when possible.

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The Long-Term Care Nursing Desk Reference, Second Edition, by Barbara Acello, MS, RN.

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