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RCN to debate sleep needs of hospital patients


The importance of a good night’s sleep for hospital patients will be among topics debated at this year’s Royal College of Nursing’s annual conference.

The issue was put forward by nurses from Suffolk keen to highlight the potentially harmful impact of lack of sleep on patient health and welfare.

“We felt it’s important the profession debates the best ways to keep noise down on our wards”

Tracey Risebrow

Their resolution, which urges RCN leadership to look at ways to educate hospital staff on the effect of noise at night, will be among 25 discussed and debated at the conference in Liverpool next month.

It also urges the RCN to promote nurse-led measure to reduce noise while patients are sleeping.

“As nurses we know how important it is for our patients to get a good night’s sleep, but as our hospitals get ever busier, including at night, we felt it’s important the profession debates the best ways to keep noise down on our wards,” said Tracey Risebrow chair of the RCN’s Suffolk branch.

This year’s RCN congress will take place from 15-19 June in Liverpool.


Readers' comments (4)

  • I'm sorry, this needs debating? Why? I have worked nights for a very long time and the first priority is to darken and quieten even the most busy department. It is entirely possible and just take some assertiveness by the person in charge. Sleep for patients is never going to be perfect - how many people do you know share a room with 4-7complete strangers - but keeping the noise and light down really should not be a problem.

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  • In my place of work we have gone from allowing our patients to sleep through the night to disturbing them at two and six for observations.
    This is regardless of need and I also believe not debatable. It has to happen regardless of patient need or choice.
    I appreciate observations in the poorly but observations in young ambulant surgical or medically fit awaiting social input seems ridiculous.
    Sleep is a luxury at night, of which I find I am depriving my patients.
    Never mind staff noise...
    What's to debate?
    Ritualistic practice v Common sense.
    Night nurses are considerate to the needs of patients. Believe it or not...

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  • i myself experienced this as a a nurse & a patient.
    I had had surgery and was being woken regularly, usually by someone making toast at 3 am or chatter at the desk.
    I realise it is difficult in open bay wards to limit noise but some nurses do not think.
    sleep & rest is a major part of recouperating and it it not a luxury.
    Once my mum was placed in a bed near the sluice room & spent most of the night in tears as they were continually in at the sluice washing/destroying the bedpans. This was after life threatening surgery and she needed to rest. In the end she was so distressed they had to let her go home too early. Due to the distress caused.

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  • Sleep is a luxury at night was a sarcastic remark...

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