“Staff really cool down in here, relaxed. The different light, the muffled sound, and the nice colors in the room affect everyone who stays here, “says ICU nurse Ann-Louise Smith.
Ann-Louise works as an ICU nurse at Södra Älvborgs Hospital, where one of the ICU rooms is specially designed to create a better environment for both patients, relatives and staff.
Swedish radio recently interviewed her and Sepideh Olausson, a graduate student at the Department of Health Sciences at the University College of Borås who is involved in an ongoing research project on how staff and patients are experiencing the intensive care room.
Some of the results so far are being discussed and the reactions are positive. Ann-Louise explains among others how the sound environment is being perceived.
“The first thing one notices is the sound environment, we are so used to all sounds that are present in all rooms, because of equipment and activity. The moment that you walk into this room, however, one notices that it is much quieter and more comfortable. All notice that the colors and the sound environment make it much more pleasant in this room. We actually cool down here and we do not experience the alarms as disturbing any longer. We would definitely like all rooms to be like this!”
All notice that the colors and the sound environment make it much more pleasant
It is over 60 years ago that Sweden’s first intensive care unit was opened. Since then, healthcare has become increasingly high-tech, but the intensive care room’s environment has not improved at the same rate as the treatment itself. The Intensive Care Room environment is deplorable. The severely ill patients may never be able to rest and recover, but it is full of whirring machines and crisp sound from anywhere, at any time of day, “says Sepideh Olausson, a graduate student at the Department of Health Sciences at the University College of Borås.
The contradiction with intensive care is that it is so messy that health professionals also cause patients some troubles and injuries.