Nurses/patient care/cell phones - page 3

What is so hard about a nurse carrying a hospital assigned cell phone on her shift so she can be more accessible to doctors, staff, for ED report. I constantly hear " we are not going to answer the... Read More

  1. Visit  dcampbell profile page
    1
    These phones can really be a bother.

    I think that they are another way for management to get out of hiring enough people.

    How many med errors occur because a nurse was distracted with the constant ringing of the hospital cell phone?
    What about the breaches in sterile or clean technique because the nurse is rushing to answer the phone?
    Interupted assessments? Disrupted communication between the nurse and pt due to the ringing and constant
    stepping out of the room to answer a call?
    canoehead likes this.
  2. Visit  mcpkin profile page
    0
    We also carry phones and now have to put our ext. on pt's board for them to call us, as well as use the call light. However since I am also charge you can double or even triple the amount of calls I get. If I am in the middle of something with gloves, I dont answer it either. If you dont put your number on pt's board, you will get written up. Management comes early or stays late and walks around to check...
  3. Visit  mom4josh profile page
    0
    Quote from Virgo_RN
    The first thing I do when I receive my phone at the beginning of the shift is set it to "vibrate" and make sure it has a full battery. If you want to see me jump about three feet, call me when my phone is on "loud".
    We can change the ring volume on the phone for regular calls, but the emergency calls are always at full volume, most annoying sound possible!
  4. Visit  DeeAngel profile page
    0
    We are required to carry phones but since I work night shift it's not a big problem for me. However when I worked as a Unit Secretary on day shift I was calling the nurses all the time only to discover they were at lunch or on break. Some of the aides would come, tell me they were going on break or lunch and leave their phone with me. If I was a nurse on day shift I would do the same thing as it's not possible for me to compromise my breaks or lunch time with phone calls. Of course I would be certain not to page a Dr. and then leave my phone at the desk and leave.
  5. Visit  PostOpPrincess profile page
    1
    Quote from TigerGalLE
    Well we are required to carry a cell phone and I absolutely hate it. Yes it is convenient for the secretary but extremely inconvenient for the nurse. I hate having doctors, family members, and/or other disciplines transferred to my phone. I mean dang sometimes I'm sitting on the toilet... or in an isolation room... or in the middle of educating a patient. How horribly annoying it is to have to excuse yourself from the patient you are currently with to answer a question for a family member calling about a completely different patient. I usually just have to tell them I'll call them back b/c I can't give them any information in front of another patient.... It is so annoying and I hate it.

    I do like having a phone so I can call others from the patient's room... but it should be against policy to transfer any call to the nurses phone unless the nurse is aware of the transfer before hand.

    I mean how is a nurse going to take report on an ER patient while she is in the middle of an extensive dressing change??

    Edit: And I never get a break b/c my cell phone rings constantly during lunch. Now how fair is that? I never page a doctor and then leave to go on break. That is just common sense. But to have to talk to a family member while my mouth is full of my cheeseburger? Hardly fair.

    How about telling the secretary you're going to lunch, and you won't be available for hour?

    That's what I would do.

    And no, I wouldn't answer.

    They can call back.
    canoehead likes this.
  6. Visit  snuggles49 profile page
    0
    Well, I can tell most staff do not like the cell phones they are required to carry. I understand the many reasons why except: 1.If a family member calls the nurses station do you not get called/paged to come to the desk to speak with the family so it is still taking time from your duties/patient care. Besides speaking with family menbers is part of caring for a patient. Yes it can be very frustrating and time consuming but it is part of the job.
    2. Phones have voice mail. If you are in the middle of a sterile procedure, bathroom or whatever that prevents you from immediately answering then let it go to voice mail BUT answer your voice mail as soon as possible.
    3. Management has staff carry cell phones so they don't have to hire more staff "HUH" how does that work ??
    4. Leaving your phone with a co-worker or Unit secretary? How fair is this now you have just made it more difficult to do their job as they are now answering your phone plus their own.
    Our cell phones are not abused by ancillary staff, physcians, co-workers, or Unit secretaries. 1.When the nurse pages a physcian she always has the physcian return a call to the Land Line phone. When we first got the phones the idea was to have the Physcians paged to the cell phone but so many of the doc's didn't recognize the cell numbers so they would'nt call them. The cell phone is used to call the nurse to the desk when the doc calls back. We are banned from overhead paging unless for emergencies and codes. Calling the cell saves the Unit sec. a lot of steps and doesn't take her away from the desk where other phones are ringing, and our docs don't like to wait to long for a nurse to respond. 2. The cell phone is a big help when trying to find an aide or another nurse for assisst. Who has time to go room to room or up and down halls looking for help. 3. As far breaks- our nurses take the phone with them, they do not like to answer them at break but most will.
    We do not take all the calls on the cell that have been indicated in the previous posts.
    Most of the depts in our facility carry cell phones, housekeeping, lab, maintaince, biomed, Shift Cordinators, Unit managers, Case Managers. and the staff has access to all the cell numbers. I feel everyone's job easier to be able to reach them quickly and not wander around looking for them and not having all the overhead pages to find someone.
  7. Visit  Virgo_RN profile page
    1
    Quote from snuggles49
    1.If a family member calls the nurses station do you not get called/paged to come to the desk to speak with the family so it is still taking time from your duties/patient care. Besides speaking with family menbers is part of caring for a patient. Yes it can be very frustrating and time consuming but it is part of the job.
    This does not happen in my ED. Phone calls from family members are almost nonexistent, and family members typically are in the room with the patient. On the floor, this may happen, but I would opine that since it does not take a nursing license to check Grandma's phone and make sure she can reach it, that the ringer is turned on, that she is not in the bathroom or what have you, that the unit secretary can screen calls and send a text to both the nurse and the CNA rather than mindlessly forwarding all family member calls to the nurse.

    2. Phones have voice mail. If you are in the middle of a sterile procedure, bathroom or whatever that prevents you from immediately answering then let it go to voice mail BUT answer your voice mail as soon as possible.
    Our phones do not have voice mail. And they only show the originating number while they are ringing (there is no memory for missed calls), so if you aren't able to look at the phone due to having sterile gloves on or no free hands, then you do not have any way of knowing who is calling. You can only guess.

    3. Management has staff carry cell phones so they don't have to hire more staff "HUH" how does that work ??
    I'm not sure about that either. For us, we've been carrying phones for years, and our staffing ratio isn't too terrible, so I don't know about that.

    4. Leaving your phone with a co-worker or Unit secretary? How fair is this now you have just made it more difficult to do their job as they are now answering your phone plus their own.
    Leaving my phone with the nurse breaking me is protocol in my ED. It is critical that somebody who can actually do something with the patient have the phone associated with the nurse that is covering those patients. If I am in the break room or cafeteria, I am not able to redraw labs or transport a patient to CT or administer a med. The nurse covering for me is expected to do those things while I am on break. On the floor, I always took my phone with me and just turned it off, since I only went to dinner when I had worked my butt off to make sure nothing would need to be done while I was on break, and would include anything that could pop up unexpectedly during that time in my report to my break buddy, so they'd have a heads up on things that might but probably won't need to be addressed.

    Our cell phones are not abused by ancillary staff, physcians, co-workers, or Unit secretaries. 1.When the nurse pages a physcian she always has the physcian return a call to the Land Line phone. When we first got the phones the idea was to have the Physcians paged to the cell phone but so many of the doc's didn't recognize the cell numbers so they would'nt call them. The cell phone is used to call the nurse to the desk when the doc calls back. We are banned from overhead paging unless for emergencies and codes. Calling the cell saves the Unit sec. a lot of steps and doesn't take her away from the desk where other phones are ringing, and our docs don't like to wait to long for a nurse to respond.
    We just page them to the cell, using the last four digits of the number since the prefix is the same throughout the entire hospital. I've never had a problem with a physician not recognizing it as a call from a nurse. If I've paged a doctor, I make sure to keep myself in a situation where I can answer when she or he calls back. Our facility policy is that the doctor must return pages within 15 minutes.

    2. The cell phone is a big help when trying to find an aide or another nurse for assisst. Who has time to go room to room or up and down halls looking for help.
    I agree with this. Our ED doctors even carry cell phones, so I can call with a quick question or comment instead of hunting them down while they're in another patient's room.

    3. As far breaks- our nurses take the phone with them, they do not like to answer them at break but most will.
    Again, it is not a break unless the worker is completely relieved of duty. To expect nurses to take phone calls while on their meal break is no different in my mind than expecting nurses to work through their break or stay late to finish up, and not take the paid time. This is why my facility does not have time clocks, but rather, uses a sign-in system, because if they had to pay the nurses for how much they are really working, they'd probably go bankrupt.

    We do not take all the calls on the cell that have been indicated in the previous posts.
    Most of the depts in our facility carry cell phones, housekeeping, lab, maintaince, biomed, Shift Cordinators, Unit managers, Case Managers. and the staff has access to all the cell numbers. I feel everyone's job easier to be able to reach them quickly and not wander around looking for them and not having all the overhead pages to find someone.
    Yes, everybody in my facility carries a cell as well. It is how we communicate when we are in different areas of the hospital. We even have a nifty thing called a "phone list" to assist us in knowing what number to call, since most of us do not have ESP. If we did, then we wouldn't need phones in the first place.
    Ayvah likes this.
  8. Visit  Ayvah profile page
    1
    Quote from snuggles49
    4. Leaving your phone with a co-worker or Unit secretary? How fair is this now you have just made it more difficult to do their job as they are now answering your phone plus their own.
    Our cell phones are not abused by ancillary staff, physcians, co-workers, or Unit secretaries.[B] 3. As far breaks- our nurses take the phone with them, they do not like to answer them at break but most will.
    I just wanted to highlight what Virgo said since its pretty obvious snuggles is management and by her response to Virgo, I don't know if she fully appreciates the matter at hand regarding the point made. Do you work the floor when the staffing is low so you can understand what the nurses on the floor go through, what the real barriers to giving excellent nursing are?

    If you are requiring your nurses to answer the phone while on lunch, you are enforcing illegal standards and setting yourself up for staff burnout, resentment of management not supporting their staff, and last but not least, a lawsuit.

    http://allnurses.com/nursing-news/la...nt-440975.html

    Instead, please advocate for your hard working staff. If you feel that it is unfair to burden another staff member with the nurses phone while they are considered off the clock on lunch, then pitch in yourself and take that phone, or hire some lunch relief staff to do that.
    morte likes this.
  9. Visit  Ruby Vee profile page
    2
    Quote from snuggles49
    well, i can tell most staff do not like the cell phones they are required to carry. i understand the many reasons why except: 1.if a family member calls the nurses station do you not get called/paged to come to the desk to speak with the family so it is still taking time from your duties/patient care. besides speaking with family menbers is part of caring for a patient. yes it can be very frustrating and time consuming but it is part of the job.
    2. phones have voice mail. if you are in the middle of a sterile procedure, bathroom or whatever that prevents you from immediately answering then let it go to voice mail but answer your voice mail as soon as possible.
    3. management has staff carry cell phones so they don't have to hire more staff "huh" how does that work ??
    4. leaving your phone with a co-worker or unit secretary? how fair is this now you have just made it more difficult to do their job as they are now answering your phone plus their own.
    our cell phones are not abused by ancillary staff, physcians, co-workers, or unit secretaries. 1.when the nurse pages a physcian she always has the physcian return a call to the land line phone. when we first got the phones the idea was to have the physcians paged to the cell phone but so many of the doc's didn't recognize the cell numbers so they would'nt call them. the cell phone is used to call the nurse to the desk when the doc calls back. we are banned from overhead paging unless for emergencies and codes. calling the cell saves the unit sec. a lot of steps and doesn't take her away from the desk where other phones are ringing, and our docs don't like to wait to long for a nurse to respond. 2. the cell phone is a big help when trying to find an aide or another nurse for assisst. who has time to go room to room or up and down halls looking for help. 3. as far breaks- our nurses take the phone with them, they do not like to answer them at break but most will.
    we do not take all the calls on the cell that have been indicated in the previous posts.
    most of the depts in our facility carry cell phones, housekeeping, lab, maintaince, biomed, shift cordinators, unit managers, case managers. and the staff has access to all the cell numbers. i feel everyone's job easier to be able to reach them quickly and not wander around looking for them and not having all the overhead pages to find someone.
    it sounds to me as if your cell phones are to make the secretary's job easier at the expense of the nurses. perhaps what you need is a second secretary so it wouldn't be such an issue for them to have to leave their desk to find a nurse. and a nurse should be able to take a break from her job for 15 minutes twice a day and for a 30 minute meal without having to answer the damned phone. if the phone has an "off" button, i'd be utilizing that. a lot.
    canoehead and Altra like this.
  10. Visit  stressgal profile page
    0
    Our facility invested in the "Vocera" system. Basically it is a cell phone that we wear around our necks on a lanyard. It is a hands free device that works on voice activation. It will announce the caller and ask if you can take the call, you simply answer yes or no to connect. If you want the calls to be private you must wear a earphone. When we got the a couple of years ago we were hesitant. Recently the system was down for a couple of hours and boy did I miss it! It is so beneficial to call for needed assistance when a patient starts circling the drain. We do not transfer "family" calls through the system, I think that would probably send me over the edge.


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