cell phones

  1. I am looking for info re patient/ family members use of cell phones. We have a policy against it as it interfears with some cardiac moniters. We have LOTS of patients who refuse to give up their phones, and I have often caught family members crouched down in the hallways hiding ( by a pay phone or even by the free courtesy phone) using their phones.

    I am wondering what other policies are out there and how they are enforced.A bonues for my type A personality would be some communication tips on how to "discuss" and " inform" these people that their phones need to be off!!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Mimi2RN
    Our policy is also no cell phones. It's hard to enforce, though. The camera phones especially are a problem. You can't miss the signs near the entrance and by the elevator. That being said, a woman I know is in the hospital. A photo taken on a cell phone was emailed to me..........nice to see she is still alive, but can't they read?

    We have been told that our IV pumps have been affected by cell phones, that they go crazy and dump fluid in if someone talks on a phone. Somehow, I'm a little sceptical.
  4. by   Jessy_RN
    We have had this question before, will try to do a search and see if it comes up.
  5. by   Jessy_RN
  6. by   UM Review RN
    Our hospital allows cell phone use except in the ER.

    We use cell phones to communicate with one another.

    I believe that the newer generation of cell phones does not interfere as much (if at all) with most medical equipment. If you can find any studies that say otherwise, please let me know.

    Of course, taking pictures of patients is a HIPAA violation--unless the patient herself took the picture, in which case, consent is presumed.
  7. by   Nurse Ratched
    It drove me batty on psych. Pt families would whip them out. One even took a picture of me without my permission to "document who you are." Had security bounce him.
  8. by   sjt9721
    We have the same "no cell phones" policy. My comment to folks is that "we ask that you turn them off while in the treatment areas".

    It's hard to be an enforcer of such policy when nearly all of our physicians and half of the staff are running around with a phone on their belt/in their pocket.
  9. by   DusktilDawn
    I actually noticed someone removing a payphone at work and asked why they were doing that (curious). I was told that several were being removed from the facility because they were not being used since almost everyone uses cellphones these days. People use cellphones all over the hospital, and that includes patients, families, visitors, and staff.

    I guess what bothers me about cellphones is when they are abused. Sorry folks, I have seen way too many staff yakking away in patient care areas on personal calls. I have seen staff in patient rooms talking on personal calls. Sorry, but I will not take care of anyone's patients so they can spend 1/2 hour to 3 hours on their cellphone on a personal call, and I make no bones about it with them. I also have a problem with the fact that now anyone can come in with a cellphone and take pictures.

    I do think if a facility has a policy banning cellphones it needs to be enforced. If it is not followed by families/visitors, then they should not be allowed back. If patients are not following policy, than their phones should be placed with valuables (we can lock up valuables/money at our facility for patients). Jenna, if they are affecting cardiac monitors at your facility, than you need to be point blank about the fact that they are placing patients in danger.
  10. by   Tweety
    We used to have a policy of no cell phones, because they supposedly interferred with the cardiac monitors.

    But that's changed and we allow cell phones because the new generation has no effect on the monitors.

    Cell phones are so pervasive in our society. We fly patients from all over the area to our trauma unit and they and their families need the cell phones to maintain contact with each other and to update other familiy members.

    I think it's a bad idea to restrict cell phone usage. As long as it does no harm to anyone. As evidenced by the posts above, it's difficult and timeconsuming to enforce anyway. My disclaimer was as long as it does no harm.

    Don't get me started on staff using their cell phones while working.
    Last edit by Tweety on Dec 19, '05
  11. by   SweetieRN
    We do not have a policy in our OB unit against patients or family members using cell phones, as we have no cardiac monitors to worry about - BUT we desparately need a policy against the nursing staff carrying personal cell phones. I once had to wait 20 minutes into my shift to get report from the nurse while she handled a phone call from her mother on her private cell phone :angryfire
  12. by   SFCardiacRN
    Our hospital engineering staff tested every type of cell phone they could get their hands on to see if they caused interference with cardiac monitors. None did! The only thing they found that caused interference was the Nextel walkitalkies supplied by the hospital for admin&supervisors. And those had to be very close to the monitors. We still have signs up and an official policy banning cell phones but it is not enforced. And by the way, microwaves do not interfere with pacemakers either! Both are just sacred cows.
  13. by   purplemania
    Gee, we can't get any reception in our facility due to lead in the walls. SO you have to go outside like it or not.

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