some of my coworkers are spending way to much time on personal phone calls

  1. Let us face it two or three calls a day from friends and family lasting 30 to 40 minutes is to much. I am not talking about the person who has an unusual family crisis and who suddenly finds themself on phone more than usual. I am talking about people whose entire lives seem to be in crisis 24 hours a day 7 days a week for years on end. These same individuals take 5 smoke breaks a day and disappear for half hour or 45 mins. each time you send them out to pick up blood or supplies. I hesitate about complaining to managment because I have seen this situations before. Managment totally overreacts and comes down really hard which causes a revolt among employees that don't abuse the situation. Sometimes a word to the wise is sufficient and I did get one person to alter this behavior to acceptable levels. Now I have about 5 other people I got to clue in without making an enemy or starting a war. I have decided taking them on one at a time and tayloring my approach to the individual is the best way to go. Why do I take this approach? Because I am not perfect and there have been times when someone approached me about a behavor in a very lighthearted way and I caught on quick.
    •  
  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   orrnlori
    Try being in a busy OR with everyone needing everything RIGHT NOW and the phone rings, it's the teacher of the scrub nurses's 7 year old wanting to discuss the child's homework. Helllllloooooo!!!!!! Would you want someone calling into the OR while you were under the knife to discuss homework? Personal phone calls drive me absolutely crazy.
  4. by   Jailhouse RN
    Doesn't happen in The Max Prison where I work. Staff gets NO phone calls except for that rare emergency. Homework, bill collectors and calls from friends are not emergencies. All calls come in through the switch board and on the off shift the prison Chart Office. Emergency calls are the only calls allowed through. I believe this is the way hospitals should be also.
    Last edit by Jailhouse RN on Apr 26, '04
  5. by   mattsmom81
    Yes, I work with nurses who squeeze some patient care in between their phone gabbing sessions. Also work with nurses who bring their cell phones to work with them and camp out in their patient's room (with feet up on the balloon pump). It is aggravating. When I'm at work I prioritize with work. The same work ethic is not seen today in many cases. The phone attached permanently to the ear seems to be a younger generation thing and I too find it frustrating to deal with. Good luck.

    Our management team made it a policy to NOT bring cell phones on the job but it is ignored by the offenders. <sigh>
  6. by   CoffeeRTC
    This is a big problem where I work. Since I work 3-11 and am the only person who knows how to answer the phone, I deal with this almost every day I work. Normally its someones kid or husband calling "to check in". I don't mind a call a shift or even if the aids and other nurses call out after their work is done, but 2-3 calls in a non emeregent situation?? When I do answer the phone I will let the caller know the person is busy and unless they are bleeding or dying,,, they will have to wait until that person is on break.
  7. by   jemb
    This is an ongoing aggravation with me too.

    Calls that I understand are:

    emergencies (ill, bleeding or dead - not "do you know where my blue sweater is?"!!!),

    kids checking in upon arriving home (and not ten times more in the same shift just because they are bored!) to let a parent know they made it home okay,

    necessary business calls that cannot be made during other hours and cannot be delayed until you have a day off. (Such as calling for a doctor's appointment when you work 7a-7p, or taking a return call from the repairman you called from home earlier regarding an urgent repair.)

    or, of course, someone letting you know that you just won the lottery.

    We have several nurses where I work that seem to think that there's no harm in spending 15-30 minutes at a time on personal calls while the rest of us are busting our butts taking care of their patients as well as our own! One of the nurses even had her away-at-college daughter calling her at work every day for long coversations. Couldn't be because the facility has an 800 # for out of area callers, do you think? She even had the nerve to tell me that I was being rude to her one day when I interrupted her already 25 minute phone call to let her know that a patient was asking for her!

    Sorry about the rant. This is just a real sore spot with me because so many people abuse the privilege we have with phone access. I haven't yet found a solution for it
    Last edit by jemb on Apr 26, '04 : Reason: my spelling is terrible when I get upset!
  8. by   gwenith
    My personal thing is if you call me at work it had better be to tell me that someone has either died or that my house is on fire!!!

    We do not tolerate calls at work and it is a reportable offence if someone is abusing it.
  9. by   Repat
    HUGE problem where I work - but only with a couple of people who monopolize the secretary, who is beginning to feel like their social secretary. It is so obnoxious - I have worked as unit secretary when these two are working, and it is ANNOYING - especially in the middle of a code, and you're answering their personal calls. I don't know why nothing is done.
  10. by   butterphlyrn
    It is a shame that this seems to be a problem everywhere? the other problem that we have is that it doesn't just apply to the nursing staff, we have our nursing assistants who believe that they can spend 4 hours of their work time one the phone, and secertaries who believe that the phone is theirs and they can spend as much personal time one them that they want. the thing of it is............. with as short as my hospital is on nurses they say something to the offenders but don't enoforce it for fear of losing personal.
  11. by   Repat
    It wasn't nurses I was talking about - we are too busy running around like crazy to talk on the phone...
  12. by   fergus51
    We have more than a few nurses who use the phone way too much (like for forty minute stretches!). It especially bothers me on nights because we have no unit secretary, so a nurse like ME is usually the one running to answer the phone. I am not a secretary and find it extremely annoying to be answering the phone and getting people for personal calls all the time.
  13. by   BGSUstudent
    I work as a tech under an RN on a team of pts. On a 3-11 shift I was doing rounds and 2 of my pts. were fresh post-ops. Both of these pts. were in pain and another one of the pts. was nauseaed. I went to find the RN to ask her to medicate these pts. I found her sitting in the break room having a personal conversion on the telephone. I approached her and relayed that 3 pts. needed medicated. She said ok and continued to have her unnessary personal conversion for about the next 20 minutes. There were 2 other RN's on the floor but they had about 10 pts. apiece themselves so I didn't want to ask them to do my RN's work. Aproaching the 20 minute mark our nursing supervisor came around the corner. I approached her and told her that the RN over me had continued to talk on the phone even though I had requested that she should medicate our pts. Tattling on someone isn't something that I normally do. I always try to resolve the situation on my own. Anyways the supervisor asked her to get off the phone and she did. The RN wouldn't speak to me for the rest of the evening. I didn't want to get her in trouble, I just wanted to be an advocate for my pts.
  14. by   JacelRN
    We have a nurse on our floor who glues the phone to her face. I'm nearly serious. She even sits during lunch with the rest of us on a personal call. If its not her kids, its her boyfriend, or her ex-husband. Its something of a nuisance.

    What I'd like to add is this is a nurse with MANY years experience. She is an example of an "OLDER generation" doing what many think "YOUNGER generations" do. This type of behavior is definitely not limited to any age bracket. Work ethic is learned not inherited with what decade you were born in.

    My 2 cents,
    JacelRN

close