Pernilla Svensson is a registered nurse in Klippan, near Helsingborg in southern Sweden. For the past 20 years, she has worked in a variety of hospital settings. ECO for Sustainable Design filmed her sharing some of her experiences regarding the working environment in the healthcare sector. Without much previous reflection on noise and the impact of sound, she did have a lot of insights.
“Noise has a huge effect on the working environment in a hospital ward or emergency department. I doubt whether, as a nurse, you actually stop to consider how all the noise surrounding you every day is affecting your work environment. But once the question has been raised, you quickly become aware of how much it affects you.”
“The acoustic environment makes a big difference to patients and staff alike. Especially in a hospital, where most departments – such as emergency – have an open-plan layout with everyone in the same space. There are computers, nurses, doctors, patients, family members, and technical equipment, all in one big crazy mix. In the midst of all this, you’re expected to focus, make the right decisions, understand prescriptions correctly, and so on. This affects patients and staff alike.”
There are computers, nurses, doctors, patients, family members, and technical equipment, all in one big crazy mix
There is certainly a risk that you might make a wrong decision. You can’t make sense of prescriptions, you get stressed, and you might experience physical symptoms such as palpitations and dry mouth. You should allow members of staff (nurses and doctors) who go to work every day in the various departments to be involved in modification and renovation projects. That would surely yield very positive results.
Watch the full interview
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