How is code blue announced at your facility?

  1. At our facility our admininstrator has decided that "Code Blue" cannot be announced over the overhead system. Instead the switch board opetrator announces "Code 4464" overhead. I just don't think that a series of numbers cut it. There are so pages overhead during the couse of a day you tend to tune them out. The so called rational behind this is to keep from upsetting familes who may think it is their loved one who is in big trouble. I was just wondering if any other facilities had similar policies and how are they working for you. Another question, when a code blue is called, do they just announce the floor where the code is occuring or do they announce room numbers? I would like to know how other facilities handle code blues?
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  2. 40 Comments

  3. by   suzannasue
    We do the overhead paging for Code Blue...the room number is announced...along with those nurses participating in the Code,there is a supervisor to intercept family or to take the family to a central area conference room for condition updates,counseling. I agree,with so much paging we do tend to tune it out. At one facility where I worked, they used a numerical paging system not only for codes but for certain personell...many a day I called out "BINGO"....
  4. by   deespoohbear
    Our administrator does not want us announcing room numbers overhead. He says it will cause undue panic amongst the visitors. Like they (the visitors) don't know something big was happening anyway. Our policy seriously needs looked at. Thanks for the input.
  5. by   nilepoc
    Dr. Heart is paged overhead with the floor number and the ICU that is responsible for codes that month is paged. Whats funny is that usually the pager goes off while you are doing compressions. The pager is a little slow.

    When the team arrives on the floor, there is always a nurse there to direct you to the room.

    In the ICU's no code is ever called, we just run our own.
  6. by   mattcastens
    Our overhead page is simply "CPR, Room..." Our administrators feel that we might as well call a spade a spade seeing as how the entire public knows what a "Code Blue" is. Why try to hide it?
  7. by   nurs4kids
    We use "resident physician" followed by what floor the code is on, for overhead paging. We do not announce the room #. It's usually pretty obvious, upon arrival to the floor, which room is the code. I don't know where the "resident physician" thingy came from. We're a teaching hospital, so it's resident's who run the codes. I guess that's where the term comes from?
  8. by   Nytenurse
    Interesting, I had my first code a couple of weeks ago, They call it Code 30. We are a teaching hospital so like 50 people show up. Surgical residents, medical residents, respiratory, nursing coordinators. It was my patient and there was no room in the room for me. Thank god it was a private room. I gave the nursing coordinator the information on the patient that I had. last vs, mental status, diagnosis. The nice thing about all those residents at least one or two of them had him as a patient. Then I was told to just go tend to my other patients. I think their theory behind this is that it is so stressful on the nurse whose pt it is they have them do next to nothing. The pt didn't make it. What bothers me and I don't know if this is just how it is everywhere, but there wasn't any debriefing afterwards. Like did I do everything ok? Was there anything I could have done differently? Actually if I should have done something differently I would have been told already, my hospital has no problem telling you what you did wrong.
  9. by   debbyed
    We anounce Code Blue and the room number for floor codes. Code Blue CCU for unit coded and Code Blue ER for ER codes. When we know we have a Code enroute a "Code Blue Alert ER" is called to let everyone know there is a code with less than a 10 minute ETA.

    I believe that the priority is to get the people you need, to the place you need them as quick as possible. Visitors and family members know what a "Code" is, trying to hide the fact they happen isn't good for anyone.
  10. by   canoehead
    Codes are announced overhead, but the announcement is twice as loud as any page so you can't miss it. I like the idea of using a number for the code, as you could insert the room number on the end and most visitors would not catch on.
  11. by   Ellen in Ont
    Our hospital is a "quiet hospital" which means the overhead paging system is only used for the different codes. We have code blue followed by the room number, code pink for a pediatric code, code red for fire, code yellow for missing patient followed by a description, code black for a bomb threat, code green for evacuation etc. The only other thing announced is nurse assistance followed by the unit (that unit needs nursing help for up to two hours and any unit who can send someone does) or nurse alert (which means a nursing emergency and they need nurses stat for a short time). It is a big shock to go to other hospitals where the paging system is used almost constantly. I appreciate the quiet in ours even more. We do use the code blue even in ICU because other staff also come to all codes (RTs, ER nurse (usually records there), security (can act as runners if needed) and pastoral care to sit with the family). Instead of the overhead we use the phones or pagers for everything else.
  12. by   bagladyrn
    Found a new code designation at my current assignment in Fla. For an approaching tornado the announcement is "Code Dorothy"
    Really, though, I think "Code Blue" is the best designation, especially when you have a lot of agency and temporary staff- everyone understands and remembers this.
  13. by   Reabock
    At our facillity., we use "code 60" and then the room number or area. We also have other situations that we use the overhead for , like Condition Hazmat ( chemical or enviornmental problem), condition Orange (bomb threat) Condition Assist and Condition Medical assist, where we need strong backs to help or where there is a medical emergency requiring medical personnell, not just the maintenence guys to help. There are others but I can't think of what they are right now.

    We also, have a fairly quiet paging system, using phones and pagers, and they try not to use it after 9 PM except for emergencies. My heart still does a leap when I am in a store and they call a "code blue" or something, like KMart does. Takes me a second to remember I don't have to run!
  14. by   shyviolet78
    We use Dr. Heart instead of saying Code Blue. Code Red is a Fire, Code Green is a Fire Drill and Code White is an Infant Abduction. I was in the cafeteria one day when a Dr. Heart was paged near the cafeteria elevators. A large mass of people (not hospital employees/doctors) left their food and rushed out to the elevators to watch, so apparently, everyone knows what a Dr. Heart is anyway.

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