April Martinez

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Alarm fatigue is the desensitization of healthcare providers to the sound of hospital alarms (Tanner, 2013). The problem is the frequency of alarms sounding in hospitals, causing the nurses to be desensitized to alarm sounds. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore alarm fatigue by first observing the types of alarms and recording how long alarms sounded before they were silenced, and to obtain nurses’ feedback on their thought processes related to their decisions regarding the alarms. A tool was devised to record observations of type of alarm and time the alarm sounded. The majority of alarms that sounded were cardiac monitor alarms (47%). No nurses participated in the focus group to discuss their thoughts about the prioritization of alarms sounding. The results of my study suggest that cardiac alarms can be controlled in a central monitoring area in an attempt to help nurses reduce their alarm fatigue.

Publication Date






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