Do you know the side effects of noise?

Working with chronic exposure to as little as 68-70 decibels can have an effect on staff members, according to Michael Buelow, RN, CEN, an ED nurse at InteliStaf, a staff relief agency in Phoenix. Consider the following:

Physiological effect:

  • hearing loss.

Psychological effects:

  • decrease in problem-solving ability;
  • decrease in frustration tolerance;
  • decline in mathematical abilities;
  • decrease in altruistic behavior and sensitivity to others;
  • hindered work efficiency;
  • diminished worker effectiveness;
  • reduced accuracy of work;
  • irritability, anxiety, and sleep loss.

Secondary physiological effects:

  • release of adrenocorticosteroids, epinephrine, and norepinephrine;
  • peripheral blood vessel constriction;
  • changes in heart rate;
  • increased cerebral blood flow;
  • galvanic skin response;
  • increase in skeletal muscle tension;
  • increase in blood cortisol and cholesterol;
  • ulcers;
  • increased susceptibility to disease and infection;
  • complicating factor in heart disease;
  • implicated in headaches and fatigue.