Alarm hazards are a critical issue in patient safety. Of all health care providers, nurses are the ones most directly affected by the multitude of clinical alarms.


To qualitatively explore nurses’ experiences with clinical alarms.


The Krippendorff method for content analysis was used to analyze comments provided by 406 nurses in a national survey on perceptions of clinical alarms.


Six interrelated themes emerged: dissonance and desensitization; pollution, panic, and pathology; calling for accountability; calling for authority of nurses; clinical alarm management is crucial but not a panacea; and hope for the future.


Nurses are concerned about the impact of alarm fatigue on nurses and patients, recognize the importance of nurses’ role in reducing noise pollution, and offer valuable insight into strategies that can mitigate alarm hazards.

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