Hospitals are noisy environments—just ask any nurse how many bells, whistles and alarms they hear during a 12-hour shift. Depending on the hospital unit, the number of alarms per patient per day can reach several hundred, resulting in thousands of alarm signals on every unit and tens of thousands throughout the hospital every day, according to the Joint Commission.
Spend time in any ICU, and you can’t miss the alarms. The blaring, incessant beeps that randomly erupt from machines around the bedside are startling at first, but the noise is so constant it eventually becomes part of the background.
Alarm fatigue has gotten a lot of press over the past few years, but it’s not the only dangerous alarm-related issue facing hospitals. A lesser-known condition is finally getting some much needed attention. It’s called “auditory masking,” and like its cousin, alarm fatigue, it threatens the safety of patients and the sanity of the nursing teams who care for them.
Article by: Debra Wood, RN, nursezone.com
Article from: rn.com, AMN Healthcare Education Services
Article by: James Welch, CCE