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The impact of workload on the ability to localize audible alarms
Very little is known about people's ability to localize sound under varying workload conditions, though it would be expected that increasing workload should degrade performance. A set of eight auditory clinical alarms already known to have relatively high localizability (the ease with which their location is identified) when tested alone were tested in six conditions where workload was varied. Participants were required to indicate the location of a series of alarms emanating at random from one of eight speaker locations. Additionally, they were asked to read, carry out mental arithmetic tasks...
Prevalence of Hearing Loss Among Noise-Exposed Workers Within the Health Care and Social Assistance Sector, 2003 to 2012
Objective: The purpose was to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss for noise-exposed U.S. workers within the Health Care and Social Assistance (HSA) sector. Methods: Audiograms for 1.4 million workers (8702 within HSA) from 2003 to 2012 were examined. Prevalences and adjusted risks for hearing loss as compared with a reference industry were estimated for the HSA sector and all industries combined. Results: While the overall HSA sector prevalence for hearing loss was 19%, the prevalences in the Medical Laboratories subsector and the Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners subsector...
Hearing loss associated with repeated MRI acquisition procedure-related acoustic noise exposure
An occupational cohort study Objective: To study the effects of repeated exposure to MRI-related acoustic noise during image acquisition procedures (scans) on hearing. Methods: A retrospective occupational cohort study was performed among workers of an MRI manufacturing facility (n=474). Longitudinal audiometry data from the facility's medical surveillance scheme collected from 1973 to 2010 were analysed by studying the association of cumulative exposure to MRI-related acoustic noise from voluntary (multiple) MRI scans and the hearing threshold of the volunteer. Results: Repeated acoustic noise...
Noise peaks influence communication in the operating room
An observational study Noise peaks are powerful distractors. This study focuses on the impact of noise peaks on surgical teams' communication during 109 long abdominal surgeries. We related measured noise peaks during 5-min intervals to the amount of observed communication during the same interval. Results show that noise peaks are associated with less case-relevant communication; this effect is moderated by the level of surgical experience; case-relevant communications decrease under high noise peak conditions among junior, but not among senior surgeons. However, case-irrelevant communication...
The Effectiveness of Measures Aimed at Noise Reduction in an Intensive Care Unit
Noise is a significant problem for both hospitalized patients and health care workers. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of noise reduction strategies in an intensive care unit. Noise was measured in two phases. In the first phase, the unit’s present level of noise was established over 3 weeks between January 1, 2012, and February 1, 2012. During the month following initial measurements, noise reduction interventions, including staff education and physical space arrangement, were initiated, and device alarms were checked. The second phase of measurement was conducted during...
Audit ergonomique en réanimation polyvalente
Bruit ambiant, alarmes et impact sur le travail Matériel et méthodes: Les données recueillies lors des enquêtes PRESST-NEXT et SESMAT ont permis d'évaluer la perception de l'exposition au bruit des soignants européens et médecins français et leur score d'épuisement professionnel. Le travail infirmier en réanimation est caractérisé par des observations ergonomiques dont deux analysées à l'aide du logiciel KRONOS-ACTOGRAM (Octares). Des mesures de bruit ambiant ont été réalisées...
Effects of hospital noise on staff: Increased stress, annoyance and burnout, but what about job performance?
Hospitals are often noisy and not conducive to staff performance. Indeed, many staff believe that noise negatively affects their professional performance, quality of work, and ability to concentrate and communicate. Research shows that increased stress and annoyance, increased rates of burnout, and reduced occupational health are a few of the possible effects of hospital noise on staff. However, only a few hospital studies have directly linked noise to job performance. Results show that noise and distractions can potentially deteriorate mental efficiency and short-term memory and increase errors...
Patient and staff perceptions of hospital noise
A large scale survey of noise and acoustic conditions in a range of inpatient hospital wards has been undertaken in two major hospitals in the UK. The survey involved noise and acoustic surveys of occupied hospital wards, identification of noise sources and questionnaire surveys of nursing staff and patients. The surveys were carried out in a range of different ward types, including surgical and medical wards, and ward sizes. This paper will present the results of the questionnaire surveys relating to noise annoyance and disturbance among staff and patients. Factors which affect perceptions of...
Dental personnel in Thailand are exposed to noise intensities lower than occupational exposure limits.
This cross-sectional study was performed in the Dental School of Prince of Songkla University to ascertain noise exposure of dentists, dental assistants, and laboratory technicians. The peaks of the noise spectrum of dental instruments were at 1,000, 4,000, and 8,000 Hz which depended on the type of instrument. Noise measurement in the personal hearing zone found that the laboratory technicians were exposed to the highest impulsive noise levels (137.1 dBC). The dentists and dental assistants who worked at a pedodontic clinic had the highest percent noise dose (4.60 ± 3.59%). In the working...
Wireless Communication : Good team communication under difficult and potentially dangerous conditions required
Team communication is absolutely essential in creating a safe, productive and effective work environment. Ambient noise can dramatically affect the clarity of team communications. First responders may be subjected to deafening siren noise while en route to a rescue operation, but they are not alone. Many industries expose workers to high noise levels on the job. Airport ground personnel must contend with the roar of jet engines. Road and construction crews must communicate against a backdrop of heavy equipment. Factory workers must talk over the noise of a manufacturing plant. These seemingly unrelated...
Patients and staff in intensive care units are exposed to high noise levels
In intensive care units, the main noise sources are hospital staff on duty and medical equipment, which generates both operating noise and acoustic alarms. Results of a survey of hospital staff are presented, as well as measurements in two German hospital wards: a standard two-bed room and a special intermediate care unit (IMC-Unit), each in a different intensive care unit (ICU). An analysis of the survey and the measured data, together with a comparison of thresholds of national and international regulations and standards describe the acoustic situation and its likely noise effects on staff and...
Stress and difficulty communicating in the chemotherapy clinic
This study measured the noise levels in the Portland Veteran's Affairs Medical Center's outpatient chemotherapy clinic. Patients, visitors, and staff members filled out anonymous surveys regarding their reactions to noise levels. Noise measurement analysis indicated that levels were at or above 70 dB SPL for less than ten minutes during the 11-hour recording window. The patient and visitor surveys indicated that both groups were unbothered by noise in the clinic. However, most staff members were bothered by or concerned about noise levels, and many felt that it caused stress and difficulty...
Mid-level transient sound occurrence rates significantly correlated to perceived annoyance and loudness levels
Intensive care units (ICUs) have important but challenging sound environments. Alarms and equipment generate high levels of noise and ICUs are typically designed with hard surfaces. A poor sound environment can add to stress and make auditory tasks more difficult for clinicians. Two units with similar patient acuity and treatment models showed little differences based on traditional overall noise measures. The objective differences between the two occupied sound environments emerged only through a more comprehensive analysis of the “occurrence rate” of peak and maximum levels, frequency...
Acoustical Environments in VCH Health-Care Facilities
Phase 1: Measurement Tools and Pilot Studies High noise levels and poor acoustics in health care facilities can have negative impacts for health care workers, including increased stress, increased aggressive behaviour on the part of patients, and impaired verbal communication. In order to advance understanding in this area, this project tested and refined several research methods and tools and collected preliminary data on noise levels and impacts in three types of health care facilities (acute, residential/long term and community). Source : http://www.worksafebc.com/contact_us/research/research_results...

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