Critical care units can be hectic, chaotic, and generally over-stimulating. The interventions that critical care patients require can interrupt normal sleep/wake cycles, causing cognitive and physiological disturbances such as delirium and hemodynamic instability. Providing a healing environment can often be a challenge, one that the coronary care unit (CCU) at The Valley Hospital has confronted head on with our Quiet Time initiative.

Quiet Time was devised to promote adequate rest for our vulnerable critical care population. Two blocks of time (2–3 pm and 2–4 am) have been designated during which lights are dimmed, noise-reduction strategies are implemented, and procedures are minimized. Our main goal is to implement strategies that will lower the noise level, promote rest and healing, and increase patient satisfaction. Our stated objectives are as follows:

We began by using the CINAHL database to perform a literature review, searching for the key words “quiet time,” “noise,” and...

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