How noise may affect nurses

High levels of noise may affect the health of nurses and the stress they face, according to a new study.

For the study, University of Michigan researchers conducted a secondary analysis on data from more than 3,800 nurses who were asked about noise exposure, health conditions, stress, professional quality of life and workplace support.

Overall, nurses who reported exposure to high noise levels reported more health conditions, higher stress and burnout scores, and lower supportive environments, according to the study. Researchers also found a significant association with lower professional quality of life.

"The findings were not surprising, given that relationships between health problems and high noise exposures are well-documented in the scientific literature," Marjorie McCullagh, PhD, RN, professor at Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan's nursing school, said in a Nov. 10 news release.

She also noted that the original study did not distinguish between workplace and other noise.

"Occupational health nurses should advocate for the regular monitoring of nurses' exposure to hazardous noise at work, compare it to OSHA permissible levels, and collaborate with the occupational health team to ensure safe noise levels are maintained," the study authors concluded. "Occupational health nurses should advocate for expanded research on effects of noise on health."

To read more about the study, click here.  

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