Noise environment characterization in military treatment facilities
Moeller , Michael M., Jr.
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Hospital sound environments are complex and hard to understand. One of the most important factors in these environments is the effective communication between staff members in regards to patient care and successful communication depends in part on the hospital’s sound environment. In this study, objective sound measurements as well as occupant perceptive data were collected at three hospitals. Sound pressure levels; including maximum, peak, minimum and equivalent levels were recorded in these hospitals, in addition to active impulse response measurements. Acoustic descriptors of the sound environment such as spectral content, level distributions, energy decay and temporal patterns were examined. The perception of the hospital soundscape (sound environment) was evaluated through surveys of the staff, patients and visitors to units. It was found that noise levels in all patient rooms and work areas were significantly higher than guidelines laid out in previous literature and by professional organizations. This work contributes to the field by broadening the metrics used to quantify hospital acoustic environments. In addition, this work added to the field by providing the most rigorous acoustic field measurement set published to date. This was done to create an accurate portrayal of the hospital soundscape environment.