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 phone in the patients room, that is rude" BUT these same people have no problem answering their own phone or checking their text messages.
The premise to not answering the phone in the room is "it is rude". What happen to excusing oneself explaining to the patient that it is a work related call and step into the hall or another part of the room. The ED would like to call the nurses assigned cell phone to give report an admissions. ED usually calls the desk to speak with the nurse and usually she is not around or says she will call back and delays calling back to stall gettting the admission. Which in turn backs up the ED when they are busy.
What do other hospitals do re nurses and cell phones ?? Also, some nurses feel if they are on break they should not have to answer the cell phone esp. to take report or speak with a DR. they may have paged prior to going to break. Granted break is a time to be relieved of your duties re patient care but I think you could accept a call.
Looking for input on what other facilities do with cell phone use. Thanks
The work flow is different on the floor. While I was not in the "it's rude to answer the phone in a patient's room" camp, and would take calls because I never knew if it was something urgent, I did notice a "Murphy's Law" type of phenomenon with the phone, in that it would invariably ring the moment I was elbow deep in a patient's bodily fluids, packed wound, pannus, or fresh groin puncture.
If I was expecting an admit from the ED or the cath lab, I would hold off on my meal break until after I had received report. If the patient sounded like a quick tuck-and-run, I could ask the nurse breaking me to do it. If the patient sounded a bit more involved, then I would stay and get them settled before going on my meal break.
There were many times where the ED or cath lab would try to call report, and I'd tell them I needed five to ten minutes to finish what I was doing and that I'd call them back, only to have them call me back literally two minutes later. Or, they would make some noise on the other end of the phone to vent their frustration. Or, if I couldn't answer my phone because I was holding pressure on a groin puncture, changing a sterile dressing, inserting a foley, cleaning up poop, starting an IV or whatever, they would continue to call and call and call and call and call and call until I finally answered. This was especially true in contact isolation rooms, where I'd be gowned and gloved from head to toe, my phone in my pocket under all my isolation garb where I couldn't get to it anyway.
You can't delay care until after the ED has called report, because you never know if it's going to be in ten minutes or an hour, and you just don't have that kind of time to wait, so you go about your duties and hope they don't call when you're in the middle of something.
We do faxed report now, and what I hear is that the floor nurses don't care for it too much because the report is not detailed enough. But it sure has cut down on the friction between ED and inpatient unit as far as phone tag goes.
The phone was a huge source of annoyance for me when I worked the floor. There were nights where I felt like all I did was answer the phone. It rang whenever a bed alarm clear on the other side of the unit went off. It rang with family members asking questions I could not answer over the phone. It rang with family members wanting to know why Grandma wasn't answering her phone. It rang with dietary confirming diet orders, with lab asking about lab orders, it rang and rang and rang. Constantly.
Last edit by Virgo_RN on Dec 1, '09
I also want to add that in the ED, we take our breaks when they're given, even if we're in the middle of something. The nurse breaking us jumps in and does whatever needs to be done with our patients while we're gone, whether it is discharging them, transferring them to the floor, drawing labs, doing mini caths, or whatever. We do this because we have a designated break nurse, and you go at your time because there are other people waiting to go at their designated time, so you don't want to make everyone else late for dinner. Some nights we don't have a break nurse and have to get each other out, but even then, you go and whoever is covering is expected to do stuff with your patients.
On the floor, it is not like that. You have to get to a good place to be able to take a break, because the nurse breaking you has a full team as well, and will not have time to do anything with your patients, other than maybe give a PRN or help them to the BR. So, you get your head to toes done and documented, your med passes, your treatments, then go on break when you don't have anything pressing that needs to be done for the next half hour. The nurse breaking you may not have time to take report and tuck in an admit from the ED, because they may have a really busy team. It is highly likely that the nurse breaking you will never lay eyes on any of your patients while you are gone. If you are at a good place to take a break and starving, and the ED expects you to take report right then, this can be frustrating, because that might have been your one chance to go eat all night.
Last edit by Virgo_RN on Dec 1, '09