Phone, cell, beeper and texting.

  1. 0
    Nurses are texting MDs. Cell phones instead of home phones. Beepers are obsolete.
    What's the world coming to?
    Change comes slowly to my area of the country. Texting for orders instead of talking, is slowly making its way to my hospital. Apparently it happens more often than I thought.
    The last 4 new MDs to the area only provide cell numbers. No home phone or beeper. We have to leave voice messages when the cell is not answered.
    The old MDs still answer their home phones after office hours, day and night. We also page them, and for the most part you can expect a return call within 15 minutes. They don't know if I'm calling for an MI, or for Zofran for nausea. There is no hierarchy of needs. There's no screen. I call, they answer.
    I don't want to appear resistant to change. However, it feels wrong to leave personal pt info on voice mail. Then the new MDs basically screen the calls, because sometimes they call back and sometimes they don't. Is this the way bigger facilities' nurses contact MDs? How many times do you call the cell and leave a message?
    Larger hospitals in the area have hospitalists around the clock, and the middle of the night phone calls to PCPs are a thing of the past. We'll probably get the hospitalist program too, but as in all things, a little later than everybody else.
    What do the rest of you do when you need orders from an MD?
    Do you think it's inappropriate to leave personal pt info on a cell phone voice mail?
    Is it harmless, a sign of the times, and I just need to get with the program?
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  3. 39 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    I text doctors all the time to get instant answers. I feel comfortable with it. I guess I understand where you are coming from, here in SoCal I have seen many other nurses text docs all the time too. It is a sigh of the times. Although I can see taking orders from a text could be wrong in some ways.
    madwife2002 and imintrouble like this.
  5. 3
    We are able to text page a doctor, but it still goes to their work pager, not their cellphone. They do not have a way to text us back. So they can either go into the computer and enter an order for us without calling back (which is nice) or they will call. Sometimes we text them with just an FYI, and do not expect a response. We are not permitted to take verbal or phone orders anyhow - so I don't see any way we'd be permitted to take an order over text anyhow.

    And while we have a hospitalist in house, our off-service patients may still require a phone call to an attending at home late at night (though we really try to avoid that).
    noyesno, RNperdiem, and imintrouble like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from RNinCLE
    We are able to text page a doctor, but it still goes to their work pager, not their cellphone. They do not have a way to text us back. So they can either go into the computer and enter an order for us without calling back (which is nice) or they will call. Sometimes we text them with just an FYI, and do not expect a response. We are not permitted to take verbal or phone orders anyhow - so I don't see any way we'd be permitted to take an order over text anyhow.

    And while we have a hospitalist in house, our off-service patients may still require a phone call to an attending at home late at night (though we really try to avoid that).
    Our MDs do not enter orders in the computer. Ever. Maybe someday.
    As far as the FYI text, if they don't respond, can't they then deny they received it, if the FYI concerning a pt turns sour?
    I like the verbal exchange because it's concrete. The MD CAN say I never spoke to him, but a little less likely. With the voice mail and text, the MD can just say "I never got it".
  7. 5
    We already covered this. This nurse will not text an md for an order. Nope. Never.
    SoldierNurse22, doomsayer, Esme12, and 2 others like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from crazy&cuteRN
    We already covered this. This nurse will not text an md for an order. Nope. Never.
    Me either. Would you leave a voice mail on a cell phone about a pt and a change in condition? At least half the time our new MDs don't answer their cell, and that's the only way we have to contact them.
    We were instructed by management to leave our name, extension, and brief message.
    I don't like it, and I'm not sure if I'm just being old.
  9. 2
    We can text the doctors using an online paging system and then they call us back with phone orders. These "texts" go to their pager, not their personal cell phone. The doctors love this, and the nurses love this, too. Not all of the doctors use this system, though, so for many of the consults or other internal medicine doctors who are the attending (not hospitalists), we still call their cell or home phone if it's after hours.
    imintrouble and prnqday like this.
  10. 1
    When leaving a voicemail I do leave name of patient if kits a personal cell. I didn't feel comfortable with it however the docs said it was easier to collect information before calling the nurse back . So before calling back they would already have looked up the patient hx and dx. I hate having to choose between what is right and what is convenient for the facility. Ask your supervisor for policy on this too.
    imintrouble likes this.
  11. 2
    Most of the MDs around here use an answering service after hours. You leave a message and they page the MD.
    tamadrummer and imintrouble like this.
  12. 1
    I have not seen any texting happening at my hospital.
    There are a handful of DR's that prefer to be called on their cell phone, and if I leave a VM, I leave it w/o any personal info. I simply say: "Hi Dr. so-and-so, this is Morganalefey from ABC Hospital's cardiac unit. I have a question about a pt. Please call me back at 555-1212."

    Mostly we page or call the answering service and they page/call doc at home/on cell phone.
    jrwest likes this.


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