Author Credentials

BSC hons Critical Care + Leadership and Management, RN


Introduction: Excessive noise in the operating room has been a topic of interest since the early 70s. It has been recognised that excessive noise can affect cognitive behavior and impair memory function which can be a health and safety issue. Though different approaches have been explored there remains a deficit in research into the application of noise modification programs within the operating room to combat the issue of noise pollution. This project aimed to identify if a discussion about appropriate noise levels and the use of a safe phrase at ‘time out’ would reduce noise levels in the operating room.

Method: Several different approaches were used throughout this study, including a questionnaire to collect data before and after the project and two observational tools, one used to collect baseline data and the second used throughout the four-week trial period.

Results: The evidence gained from this project showed an overall improvement with noise during the surgical process reduced by 26 per cent. This was done by dicsussing appropriate noise levels at ‘time out’ and allowing staff to speak up using the non-judgmental safe words ‘below ten thousand’.

Conclusion: This study aimed to see whether discussing appropriate noise levels at ‘time out’ could help reduce current noise levels within the operating room as, seen in other studies, reducing noise can be a challenge. Though small, the overall results of this study had a positive impact on reducing noise levels. It is, however, recommended that continued reinforcement and education about the issues surrounding noise are required.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.