Patients at PCH Newport are healing: Hospital to implement quiet times starting in August
Starting Aug. 2, visitors to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital (SPCH) will be asked to observe quiet times on the inpatient floor to help patients get better quality sleep.
The HUSH initiative, which stands for Help Us Support Healing, calls for a quiet hospital during the hours when many patients are napping or sleeping for the night. During the hours of 2 to 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., everyone on the inpatient floor — staff, volunteers, visitors and even patients themselves — will be asked to observe quiet times by silencing their cell phones, lowering their voices and minimizing television volume. Staff will also work to reduce supply cart noise and other disruptive sounds, plus dim the lights, to help patients get better sleep.
The effort recognizes the importance of good sleep on a patient’s ability to heal. “Sleep is critical to the body’s healing process,” said Michael Stout, an SPCH sleep medicine technician. “As you fall asleep, the body goes through stages of sleep, and it is important for people to get to stage 3 and then REM sleep for the greatest health benefits.” During these later stages of sleep our bodies release growth hormones that repair and restore the body’s cells, keep our immune systems functioning properly and help to restore mental clarity.
For light sleepers or those who are hypersensitive to noise, that necessary deeper level of sleep can be disrupted by a single jolting sound. “A person can move from a deeper stage of sleep to a lighter one without ever fully waking, but the body’s healing processes are disrupted nonetheless,” Stout said.
Similar quiet initiatives are being implemented throughout all Samaritan Health Services hospitals.