Tuesday, August 07, 2007


There is nice essay in the New York Times, today, by a reporter who suddenly found herself a patient in a very noisy hospital room. She writes:

Grand Central Terminal may be synonymous with noise and haste. But as I recently discovered, it can be a lot quieter than a hospital bed.

Just a few weeks ago, the Times had another interesting article about how a Bronx hospital has tried to address this problem through a "Silent Hospitals Help Healing" program:

The walls along the floor are filled with “SHHH” signs, and workers wear buttons that show a nurse with her finger to her lips. Patients and visitors are also given buttons.

Pieces of equipment like medication carts with squeaky wheels have been repaired, and sound-absorbing ceiling tiles and curtains have been installed.

Workers are encouraged to wear softer-soled shoes and to keep hallway conversations to a minimum. The volume on intercoms has been turned down, and beepers have been turned to vibrate mode. Patients now have the option to wear headphones while watching television.

The reality of noise and interruption is a major part of the patient experience, and, thus, something chaplains need to be aware of.


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