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Hospital Wards Should be Quiet at Night?

(282 Posts)
GemmaWella81 Sat 16-Apr-16 23:42:14

Third night into a stay at hospital and I feel like killing people. There's no urgency or care given to keeping the noise down, whether it's nurses talking amongst themselves, machines buzzing, or patients having zero concept of anyone but themselves.

I think there should be a reasonable expectation placed on staff to quash as much noise as possible, within reason as I appreciate a hospital is a working environment. By 4am and no more than 10 min unbroken sleep last night I was thermonuclear with rage, and to pass time began measured the average volume and it was around 55 Db peaking at 68! How is that good for patient health and recovery?

I swear id'd be out of here and recovering quicker if I was able to get some proper shut eye. I've had no choice to listen in on a patient arguing with a nurse about getting iv pain relief vs pill form a minute ago. Nurse was saying preference was a pill as it's cheaper but the patient was begging for iv. In the ensuing back and forth myself and people in beds near me were either woken up or were clearly getting agitated by it. There'll be a consequence now as most of us are in need of pain relief (surgical ward) at some point and that can momentarily knock you when three people now ask for pain relief is it really cost effective then just giving the original patient iv pain relief in the first place?

It's been my first stay in hospital for a long time but I think I remember the ward nurses shussing the hell out of anyone talking or making undue noise. Now it just seems like a free for all and fuck everyone else's comfort.


NapQueen Sat 16-Apr-16 23:45:04

Oh god I know. I was admitted for a while late pregnancy with dc2 and the bay was bright lights and hustle and bustle til about 2am then the other woman started snoring like a bullet train.

I asked if there was another bay (didnt need to be on my own just a quieter one), but the other bays were still within snoring at 100 decebels range of this woman. So I discharged myself.

I live 5 mins drive down the hill and promised to return in the morning for the other steroid injection.

AndNowItsSeven Sat 16-Apr-16 23:46:13

You have my sympathies, try and get someone to bring in boots muffles earplugs tomorrow they work well.
Personally I think all patients should be in private rooms I believe it would aid recovery.

ConfuciousSayWhat Sat 16-Apr-16 23:46:16


Last time I was an inpatient I was in for 10 days 7 of which I was in extreme pain, doped up on morphine and antibiotics and extremely unwell. Yet one patient insisted on constantly trying to hold a conversation with me, would come over and prod me when I had just dozed off and if I wouldn't talk to her would talk on her phone into the small hours.

The nurses did bugger all to help me rest, it felt like as long as she was 'talking to' (more at) me then she wasn't bothering them angry

slightlyglitterbrained Sat 16-Apr-16 23:48:17

Recently spent a week in hospital with DS & know what you mean about noisy. Fortunately DS slept better than I did. I can't get annoyed about small children making noise at night, but the incessant binging and bonging drove me round the twist. Realise the alerts are there for a reason but surely with so many, nurses can't detect the urgent ones?

AgentZigzag Sat 16-Apr-16 23:56:18

Oh I know, it's awful, lots of sympathy for you flowers

I'm in awe of what the NHS does and all the amazing people who work in it, I really am, but even so the noise at night plus the oppressive heat and crushing boredom makes it torturous at times.

Hope you're released home soon.

Quietattheback Sat 16-Apr-16 23:57:35

I've just been in and out of hospital for the last three weeks, with an initial ten day stay and fuck me I've never been so sleep deprived.

I was also on a surgical ward and I understand the need for hourly obs and there were some very poorly patients on the Ward but between that and the snorers, the lady who had night terrors, the cryer, the sleep talker, the lady with dementia and a head injury who tried to get into bed with me three times one night and the constant whinging about one thing or the other form certain patients I'm not sure I managed more than 2 consecutive hours sleep any night I was there.

Some nurses tried harder than others to keep the noise down but some didn't seem to give a shit. Surely sleep should be seen as sacred for people's recovery?!

Quietattheback Sun 17-Apr-16 00:00:00

That said, I do want to say that many of the nurses, hca's were amazing and did their very best.

Storminateapot Sun 17-Apr-16 00:00:04

The absolute worst place to get well is a hospital ward. I've had the misfortune to suffer serious ill-health at a youngish age and have endured several nights like this in general wards.

One night a malfunctioning bp monitor was left constantly beeping in our bay all night. When I mentioned it to my nurse the next morning she said 'yeah, felt a bit guilty about that, but we couldn't shut it up so put it furthest away'. Guantanamo Bay could have learned a thing or two.

If I ever end up long term on a ward I would rather die. In all seriousness. There is no respect for basic humanity, might as well just lie on a bench at Kings Cross & wait for His Grimness.

annandale Sun 17-Apr-16 00:01:34

Totally totally agree. I remember reading on a thread here about a fellow NHS worker who referred to a series of complaints on her ward about the noise of her team's shoes - but absolutely no reference to anything being done about it!

springydaffs Sun 17-Apr-16 00:01:42

I recently had surgery and I was in hospital one night and, although we had individual rooms (new NHS hospital) we had to keep doors open. Directly across the hallway was a prisoner with two prison guards parked outside her room who were chatting, laughing, flirting and shouting with the nurses all bloody night! Back and for I hasten to add ie the nurses were laughing and trilling back! They truly acted like the ward was empty.

I would have got more sleep on a train station angry

GemmaWella81 Sun 17-Apr-16 00:02:22

Thanks zigzag...

I cannot get over how much the NHS has moved on from the last time I was in (25 years ago), the level of care is outstanding and makes me tearful to think how proud I am of it as an institution. The ways other countries disparage it in debate (I'm not at all looking across at the USA here hmm) disgusts me. It has its problems but my god it's wonderful.

EveryoneElsie Sun 17-Apr-16 00:03:51

Ask for some earplugs and get well soon smile flowers

springydaffs Sun 17-Apr-16 00:05:32

Actually, they (the guards and the nurses) reminded me of drunken revelers hollering along the street at night, unaware that silent, dark houses mean PEOPLE ARE SLEEPING IN EVERY HOUSE.

Except of course we didn't get any sleep on that bloody eats that bloody night angry

springydaffs Sun 17-Apr-16 00:06:19

Sleep ffs. We didn't get any SLEEP

Northernlurker Sun 17-Apr-16 00:06:46

On night shifts most wards have perhaps two or three nurses plus hcas to deal with the needs of thirty or so patients. They have drugs and ivs to sort that didn't get done by the day shift, they have to deal with emergencies with far fewer staff than in the day and they have to combat the fact that patients with conditions like dementia become much harder to manage at night. So no, it isn't likely to be quiet.

I think actually nurses working night shifts would say sleep is a priority but so is continuing care and in any case there is nothing to be done about the snorers.

Poikjhvcx Sun 17-Apr-16 00:07:57

Ughh, the noise and inconsiderateness (not sure if that's a real word) is REALLY annoying. I wouldn't mind unavoidable noise but chit chatting is gggggrrrrrrrrrr angryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangry

Maybe it's a new policy as it helps encourage patients to leave confusedconfusedconfused

Anyway, hope you feel better asap and manage to escape soon

ConfuciousSayWhat Sun 17-Apr-16 00:10:42

And what about patients like me who were being disrupted frequently by other patients?

Another time I was an inpatient the nurses time was spent seeing to the wandering dementia patients, none of the rest of us had any of our needs met or obs taken. I'm all for wards having ordinary carers on them to manage social and behavioural needs (such as wandering) or alternatively having specialist wards for people with night wandering issues to be managed/cared for.

springydaffs Sun 17-Apr-16 00:10:44

On that bloody WARD

springydaffs Sun 17-Apr-16 00:12:26

Yes, I do believe they consciously make it so shit you are desperate to get home and not clog up their beds.

GemmaWella81 Sun 17-Apr-16 00:13:01

Thanks elsie...

No spare ear plugs avaliable but the recent dose of Oramorph may buy me a few min!

ConfuciousSayWhat Sun 17-Apr-16 00:13:34

Unless you get trapped in some weird "discharge me" "No you're too unwell and need IV medication and rest" cycle which I seem to always get caught in

ceres Sun 17-Apr-16 00:14:45

every time I've been in hospital I've had to have sleeping tablets - only way I've been able to get a few hours sleep with all the noise.

GingerMerkin Sun 17-Apr-16 00:15:42

You haven't lived until you have spent a night in hospital in the bed opposite someone with dementia who is doubly incontinent. I had no sleep due to noise of her screaming and defecating, nurses would change her bed and it repeated all night. Another poor patient died early the following morning which added to the experience.

cleaty Sun 17-Apr-16 00:16:42

Poor you.
I was in hospital fairly recently. Everyone on the ward was very ill so patients were pretty quiet. But the nurses continued to talk and make noise as if it was day time. I could understand if they were dealing with emergencies, but they talked in the same loud voice about who wanted tea or coffee.
Hope you get home soon.

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