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Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) has helped patients get the rest they need to recover, with a new trial project improving patient satisfaction in regards to sleep by an average of 28 per cent.
The PAH Restful Environment Project Trial ran for three months and provided free eye masks and ear plugs to patients, and educated staff on how to keep disturbances to a minimum.
Due to the success of the trial, this Sleep Awareness Week (Monday 3 to Sunday 9 July) Metro South Health will begin to roll out the Restful Environment Project across PAH, QEII, Redland, Beaudesert and Logan hospitals.
PAH Nurse Manager and project coordinator Bernadette Clarke said lack of sleep could delay healing, negatively alter immune function, increase anxiety and stress, and cause falls, confusion and even increase pain.
“The main reason for sleep disturbance is light and noise, and unfortunately in a hospital you tend to have both at all hours of the night,” she said.
“There are the corridor lights, machines beeping, nurses doing necessary rounds, other patients watching TV or speaking with visitors, and even the emergency helicopter landing and taking off.
“We can’t control all the noise but our comfort packs which include eye masks and ear plugs really make a difference.”
Five wards participated in the trial, which measured patients’ satisfaction that they were provided with a restful environment, with Ward2E Cancer Services seeing the biggest improvement of 53 per cent.
Cancer Services Nurse Unit Manager Sue Schoonbeek said the project also educated staff about a patient’s perspective.
“When we get busy on the ward, it can be easy to forget how loud we are being and how our actions could be affecting a patient’s sleep,” she said.
“We’ve been using a few different resources including a video and factsheets to show staff noise disruptions from a patient’s perspective and provide some easy tips on how staff can help.
“Little things can make a big difference, such as asking patients to use earphones when watching TV or making sure trolleys and equipment are not squeaking.”
Read more about the Restful environment project.