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January 16, 2014

Quiet Time Policy Now In Place at Scotland County Hospital

Scotland County Hospital in Memphis is pleased to announce the recent implementation of a policy for Quiet Time on the inpatient floor between 1 - 2 p.m. in the afternoons and 10 p.m. - 5 a.m. during the night. The purpose of the new policy is to allow patients to rest and recover better, resulting in shorter hospital stays, faster healing, and better sleep and rest after discharge. Studies show that a Quiet Time policy in a hospital promotes healing and provides a time for more uninterrupted sleep and rest for the patients.

It's no secret that hospital inpatient units are usually described as noisy areas and are not often thought of as restful places for patients, family and visitors. Many patients in hospitals comment that they have few uninterrupted peaceful moments in the midst of a stressful experience. Nursing staff recognizes that a patient’s rest on an inpatient floor may often be interrupted by many noises from opening & closing doors to medical equipment alarms.

These noises may seem common and a part of a normal work day, but they can result in such consequences as sleep deprivation, anxiety, stress, cardiovascular stimulation, reduced pain tolerance, emotional and mental deficits, altered immune function, decreased wound healing and delayed recovery for our patients.

Modifications that are being implemented during the new Quiet Time are: lights are dimmed (in rooms and hallways), doors to patients’ rooms are closed, overhead paging is reduced, ringer volume on telephones is decreased and all members of the multidisciplinary teams are encouraged to avoid conducting patient rounds. Unavoidable tests and patient procedures are to be continued as ordered. Only emergencies will be paged overhead as normal.

Visitors during this time are asked to make visits short, keep voices low and turn cell phones to silent. Patients and visitors shall be informed each day during the Quiet Time, but encouraged to call for help at any time. Posters announcing Quiet Time are displayed in and around the inpatient floor.

“I’m encouraged with the collaboration of families, patients, nursing staff, physicians, social work, therapy, the Board and administration and all of the multiple disciplines that were a part of this initiative to provide patients and families with designated Quiet Time," said Carla Cook, RN, BSN - Director of Nursing. "The quiet hours give our patients the opportunity to refresh and be protected from noise and interruptions."

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