mid-day editorial: Cut the noise and take care, nurses

Silence may be golden, but the logic behind that dictum seems to be lost on the nurses of JJ Hospital. A report in this newspaper exposed how nurses flouted the silent zone mandate, as they sang and danced within the hospital complex to mark International Nurses Day on May 12.

Loud music is discouraged within the hospital precincts due to health concerns of the patients. Yet, here is a case of hospital staffers themselves flouting the rules. Surprisingly, many of these "dancing nurses" were on duty during the incident. Regional songs and beats of dhol rent the air, as our local Florence Nightingales put their best feet forward.

A ruling of the Bombay High Court says hospitals can organise functions and use speakers within their institutions, but these should be well within closed doors, such as auditoriums or rooms, so that the sound does not disturb patients.

Nurses are expected to be more sensitive to patients' requirements. There are enough challenges before the administration when it comes to maintaining the silent zone status quo in the city. Incessant honking during traffic snarls and songs blaring from loudspeakers in designated 'silent zones' are just a few of the challenges hospitals face.

Noise pollution within hospital premises is the last thing anybody needs, be it the patients, their kin or even the doctors on duty. In several hospitals, visiting hours are marked by immense cacophony. The least any patient can expect is the hospital staff's adherence to the no noise norm.

Though JJ Hospital's Dean is defending the nurses, there should be a thorough probe into the incident. While we are not against celebrations, and the day is definitely for celebrating our caregivers in hospitals, the same can be done in a manner that does not inconvenience patients.

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