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Survey: Lighting Level Affects Nurses’ Ability to Perform Job

Nurses cited lighting level as the No. 1 reason that affects their ability to perform their professional duties in hospital patient rooms, according to a survey from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) highlighted findings from the Department of Energy survey, which included responses from 250 nurses at four hospitals. The goal of the survey, according to the article, was to determine what’s needed in an ideal patient room lighting system, and a secondary goal of identifying opportunities for increasing energy efficiency.

Some of the findings spotlighted by the IES include:

• Nurses were concerned about not having enough light for IVs and for assessment and care of skin, wounds, ulcers, and lower extremities, but complaints from patients about too much light were also frequently mentioned.

• Controls were identified as the second-most important attribute.

• Nearly one-third of the respondents mentioned dimming as a positive or desired attribute.

• Nighttime navigation in patient rooms is a concern, to the point that many nurses use supplemental lighting in the rooms to complement what’s provided in the patient rooms.

This quick read was submitted by Dave Lubach, associate editor for Facility Maintenance Decisions. Reach him at


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