Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3652-8782

Date of Award

Summer 5-10-2020

Degree Type

Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Susan Breslin

Abstract

Sound levels in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) consistently exceed the 45-decibel limit recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Excessive noise has been shown to cause detrimental short- and long-term effects on premature infants. The cost of a NICU stay in 2008 averaged $3500/ day with some exceeding $1 million at discharge (Muraskas & Parsi, 2008). Post-discharge, the cost of care for these children can be 7 times more than a term infant in the first year (Boss & Hobbs, 2013). Reducing the length of stay and long-term detrimental effects of a NICU stay will benefit organizations and the overall cost to society. This project tested the effectiveness on noise levels by using a free decibel phone application provided to staff within an open design NICU. Conclusion: Overall, mean decibel levels decreased after intervention, but more research is needed to prove if the decrease is not only significant, but also substantive.

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