PINEHURST – Hospitals can be noisy places; there’s no doubt about it. There are many factors that contribute to the noisy environment in a hospital – beeping medical equipment; ringing phones; visitors, staff and physicians hustling about; and an endless parade of carts rolling up and down hallways.
Yet hospitals are meant to be quiet havens of rest and healing for those who are ill.
In an effort to promote a quiet environment for patients, FirstHealth has adopted the slogan “Shhh,” which stands for “Silent Hospitals Help Healing.” Signs displaying the slogan have been placed in hospital elevators, waiting rooms and entrances to remind staff and visitors to be quiet.
A major component of the “Shhh” initiative is the implementation of the “quiet times” that FirstHealth hospitals have started observing from 3 to 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. During quiet times, lights are dimmed in patient rooms and unit hallways to serve as a visual reminder that patients are resting and staff and visitors should conduct conversations in a hushed manner and away from patient care areas and tests, therapies and treatments should be scheduled to a minimum or avoided.
Visitors are encouraged to participate in quiet times by taking breaks to let their loved ones rest.
“Because of the work we do in hospitals, such as administering medications and conducting tests at various hours, keeping a quiet environment can be challenging,” says Cheryl Batchelor, executive director of patient care services at Moore Regional and patient satisfaction quality team leader. “However, a quiet environment is essential for patients to get the rest they need to heal and recover. The quiet time hours give patients and visitors an opportunity to rest and refresh and be protected from unnecessary noise and disruptions.”
Hospital quiet times are observed daily from 3 to 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. at Moore Regional, Richmond Memorial and Montgomery Memorial hospitals.