Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Diane Whitehead


Noise in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has been associated with patients experiencing psychological and physical disorders such as anxiety, sleep deprivation, and worsening of hypertension and diabetes. Researchers have suggested that the use of a noise reduction protocol can result in a decrease in noise in the ICU and a subsequent improvement in Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores. The research question for this project examined the effectiveness of a newly developed noise protocol in minimizing noise in the ICU, since the patients at the facility of study reported noise as being a nuisance that was hampering their sleep and healing; this nuisance has also been reflected in the hospital's low HCAHPS scores. The theoretical premise of the project was the theory of comfort, which suggests that engaging in health-seeking behaviors bring patients comfort. The sources of evidence that guided the project included a literature review using the keywords noise in ICU, sleep disruption, and hospital noise; HCAHPS scores over the past 5 years; and the analysis of data obtained from interviews of 48 nurses and 4 intensivists (critical care doctors) who responded to an open invitation to participate. The interviews were analyzed using codes; the emerging themes were that the protocol was useful, did not interfere with work flow, and allowed patients to rest uninterruptedly. The result from the project can be used by the hospital leadership team to advance the noise reduction protocol to areas of the hospital outside of ICU, and as a training tool to educate the hospital staff on the importance of maintaining a noise-friendly environment.

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Nursing Commons