Ep 166: How Elevated Ambient Noise in the OR Impacts Health & Safety

It’s something outside people might never think about but ambient noise can have a direct impact on the health of CRNAs and the safety of the patients. Many people working in operating rooms don’t realize the effect that elevated noise levels can have and there might be different reasons for that. But we wanted to bring Marianne Cosgrove, CRNA, DNAP, APRN, PhD, onto the show to tell us more about the research she’s done in this area and what she’s found.

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

For a lot of people, ambient noise can be soothing and settling. For others, it can be a distracting and debilitating. Better understanding what causes this and why it happens might actually benefit the work CRNAs are doing in the operating room.

Our guest today has been paying close attention to the elevated ambient noise in operating rooms and has researched the effects it has on people. Marianne Cosgrove, CRNA, DNAP, APRN, PhD, has been a CRNA for more than 30 years and now works as a program director at the Yale-New Haven Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia. She recently studied this subject and learned that most CRNAs don’t believe the noise has any negative impact, but the data says otherwise.

Let’s learn more about what she’s discovered and find out why this topic is so important for hospitals to pay attention to.

As you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • How her own experiences with ambient noise, both personally and professionally, led to an interest in this area.
  • How things have changed in the operating room through the years.
  • Details on the study she performed about ambient noise.
  • What are the normal decibel ranges in the operating room?
  • The responses she received from the surveys that were returned.
  • What all contributes to the ambient noise in the room?
  • The majority of CRNAs feel ambient noise can’t harm their health but data says otherwise.
  • The impact this has on patient safety.
  • How can we mitigate the noise in the OR.

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

2:06 – Welcome in our guest today

4:15 – Where did this interest come from? 

6:45 – Sharon’s background in this subject 

7:56 – Her study

13:27– Sound levels in the OR

15:43 – Return on the surveys

18:35 – Other survey findings

20:00 – Other contributors to the noise 

22:42 – CRNAs reaction to this

26:41 – Patient safety

29:54 – How to mitigate the noise 

34:44 – Lightning Round

“That’s 67%, the grand majority, feel that it has no impact on their health. So why is this? Is this an education issue? Is this something we should be talking about in our anesthesia programs, about protecting your patients and protecting yourself against loud noise.”

-Marianne Cosgrove, CRNA, DNAP, APRN, PhD





COVID-19 Pandemic

Ep 213: Moral Injury and Nurse Anesthesia

With the increased distress and rationing of care that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic, the topic of Moral Injury (MI) has started to garner much more attention in the world of healthcare. This repeated conflict between an individual’s morality and the management of care causes a deep emotional wound that often drives workers out of the profession altogether. Jerry Hogan, DNSc, CRNA wrote an article about this subject, so we’ve asked him to explain the effects of MI and how CRNAs can resolve this conflict.

Current Events

Ep 212: Thankful for the AANA and Its Ongoing Efforts for CRNAs

It hasn’t been the easiest year for a lot of people, but we know there’s still plenty to be grateful for as we approach another Thanksgiving. Specifically, we wanted to shine the light on the AANA and everything they do for our profession each year. New AANA President Angie Mund, DNP, CRNA is a friend of the show and someone we appreciate quite a bit so we wanted to spend some time with her on this holiday to talk about everything she’s hoping to accomplish over the next year.


Ep 211: Anesthesia Management for a Pheochromocytoma

We’ve had CRNAs and SRNAs ask us to give them the essential information needed to manage a particular case and today we’re going to do that with Pheochromocytoma. This is the second episode in our endocrine surgical procedures series and there will be some valuable info that you might find on exams as well. Here’s the power-packed episode for anesthesia management for a Pheochromocytoma that we hope you get a lot out of.




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J. Cross CRNA
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This podcast is very well put together. I love the hosts Sharon & Jeremy, they do a fantastic job at presenting topics as well as getting great speakers on the show! This is my morning commute podcast everyday! Thank you for all that you do!
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I enjoy listening every morning. Great content and always a pleasure to learn something new.
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I started listening to this podcast religiously early on in my CRNA journey, a year before applying to CRNA school. The content in this podcast was one of my most helpful resources for getting into my first choice school, Wake Forest! It has also been a huge motivator for getting involved with the AANA now and throughout my career. I highly recommend this podcast to every prospective CRNA I meet.
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I appreciate hearing the latest and greatest in the world of Nurse Anesthesiology while also getting Class B credits. Just listen on your commute for a win/win experience. I love the perspectives from Jeremy and Sharon who both ask varied and insightful questions!
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If you’re a CRNA or any medical professional, I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen. Hosts have a great rapport.