Jennifer Fortes

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing




Noise in the intensive care unit (ICU) has been studied for over thirty years, but it continues to be a significant problem and a top complaint among patients. Staff members are now reporting detrimental health effects from excessive noise. One of the significant factors of inadequate noise control in the ICU is that nurses have insufficient awareness regarding the hospital noise issue and its negative impact on health status. The level of knowledge of clinical staff on the topic of noise is not known. A quality improvement project to explore noise in the ICU could facilitate better understanding of the phenomenon and formulation of new ways to continue to reduce noise at a community hospital in Massachusetts. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate nurses’ knowledge of the potentially harmful effects of noise on patients as well as on nurses, to identify opportunities for improvement of the environment, and to conduct an educational intervention aimed at reducing noise in the intensive care unit. The methodology for this project included a pre-test, followed by an educational session, and completion of a post-test. The participants included registered nurse staff members in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Critical Care Unit (CCU). Exclusion criteria included staff members who are not registered nurses. The project posed minimal risk. No identifying or biographical data was collected, and results included analysis of aggregate data. Descriptive statistics were used to assist with analysis. Results were disseminated to the staff of the ICU and CCU, posted on a bulletin board in the critical care area, presented as a poster presentation at the Spring RIC MSN Symposium, and available as a manuscript on the RIC Digital Commons.

Included in

Nursing Commons