Sources of Sound Exposure in Pediatric Critical Care

Author(s): Laura Beth Kalvas, PhD, RN, and Tondi M. Harrison, PhD, RN

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP C 1.00

Expires May 01, 2027

Topics: Well-Being

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Required reading for all learners: Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes

Sleep is crucial for healing during critical illness, but the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) is not conducive to restorative sleep. Sound exposure in the PICU is consistently above recommended levels. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends hospital sound levels below 45 dB, whereas the World Health Organization recommends levels less than 40 dB in hospital hallways, 35 dB at the bedside, and 30dB at night. The purpose of this observational study was to identify sources of PICU sound exposure during day (ie, 7 am to 6:59 pm) and night (ie, 7 pm to 6:59 am) shifts, during times of high (ie, ≥45 dB) and low (ie, <45 dB) sound levels, and during sound peaks (ie, ≥70 dB).


  • Identify sources of sound exposure in the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU).
  • Explore differences in sound sources during day and night shift and times of high and low sound levels.
  • Consider interventions to limit nighttime noise pollution and improve sleep quality in the pediatric ICU.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity, read Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes, and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider number CEP 1036, for 1.00 contact hours.

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