Hearing, listening, action: Enhancing nursing practice through aural awareness education

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Noise overload within the clinical environment has been found to interfere with the healing process for patients, as well as nurses' ability to assess patients effectively. Awareness and responsibility for noise production begins during initial nursing training and consequently a program to enhance aural awareness skills was designed for graduate entry nursing students in an Australian university. The program utilized an innovative combination of music education activities to develop the students' ability to distinguishing individual sounds (hearing), appreciate patients' experience of sounds (listening) and improve their auscultation skills and reduce the negative effects of noise on patients (action). Using a mixed methods approach, students reported heightened auscultation skills and greater recognition of both patients' and clinicians' aural overload. Results of this pilot suggest that music education activities can assist nursing students to develop their aural awareness and to action changes within the clinical environment to improve the patient's experience of noise.




Collins, A., Vanderheide, R., & McKenna, L. (2014). Hearing, listening, action: Enhancing nursing practice through aural awareness education. Contemporary Nurse, 47(1–2), 108–118. https://doi.org/10.1080/10376178.2014.11081912

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