November 2000. Hip replacement. In hospital 7 days - no sleep. Nurses very noisy. Running up and down corridors, throwing water at each other. Shouting, laughing. The last night had ear plugs, dressing gown wrapped around head. The whole ward complained of this. Very noisy at nights if coming on the ward. Yet waiting a long time after pressing buzzer. I should have gone on for another stay for physio, but too tired.
Thank you for this! A very engaging read and I hadn't realised the history of recording noise in hospital goes back so far. As I reflect on how it was as a student nurse, compared to how it is now (some 30 years later), the one thing that strikes me is that hospitals are very much 24/7 places now and it is common place for people to be admitted or return to the ward after an operation in the middle of the night. As night time has become normal working hours for us in healthcare perhaps we should redouble our efforts to remember that night time is for sleeping for the vast majority of people. Talking quietly, lights out or dimmed (I remember doing rounds using a torch), tiptoeing around, and respecting peoples' need for more than 40 winks should be the priority for all working at night. Yes we can offer ear plugs and eye-masks but we can be proactively quiet in our night time working too!