Noisiness in Operating Theatres: Nurses’ Perceptions and Potential Difficulty Communicating
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Elevated operating theatre noise can be hazardous to patient safety and may cause occupational stress. In a nine-hospital study, background noise and average noise were measured, during operations in different subspecialties, and found to be higher than noise levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for hospital areas in which patient care takes place. In operations in which nurses had also answered a question about hearing 'quiet', 'normal', and 'loud' talking, speech interference levels were estimated and indicated that nurses and other personnel had to substantially raise their voices to be well understood.
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