Call light abuse. What to do??? - page 3

by IBleedGreen

8,064 Views | 38 Comments

Today I had a pt. who was A&O x3. The nurse giving me report (this was a pt. transferred to me from another unit) said they like to push their call button. They will push it to tell you that they are going to watch a show on TV.... Read More


  1. 0
    Sometimes their weird behaviors are just boredom. As long as they are appropriate ill send in volunteers to play a game with them or watch a movie...something!! They are always looking for something to do.
  2. 15
    I'd give them a couple of freebies, then the third time the patient pressed the call light without actually needing anything, I'd sit down with them and explain to them that I'm concerned about their mental status. It's not normal to abusing the nursing staff like that, and I wonder if there is some psychiatric issue that is causing this. I'm going to notify their doctor and recommend that he request a psychiatric consult to see what's going on. I act pleasantly concerned about them, saying I'd hate to let a real issue go unresolved. Most patients are so embarrassed by the idea that they're going to get a psych consult, they shape up immediately. Some require an actual MD consult -- the provider sits down with them and has a "come to Jesus talk".

    If the patient really IS crazy and/or needs a psychiatric consult, then you've got a different issue. A friend of mine swears he's had good success with answering the call light and saying "This is God. I want you to stop abusing my nurses." I can't recommend that; I haven't seen it used. What I HAVE seen work is, for the patient that constantly yells "Help Help Help", a physician pick up the call light to call into the room and say "This is God speaking. I need you to be quiet now."
    Daliadreamer, noyesno, pseudomonas, and 12 others like this.
  3. 4
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    I'd give them a couple of freebies, then the third time the patient pressed the call light without actually needing anything, I'd sit down with them and explain to them that I'm concerned about their mental status. It's not normal to abusing the nursing staff like that, and I wonder if there is some psychiatric issue that is causing this. I'm going to notify their doctor and recommend that he request a psychiatric consult to see what's going on. I act pleasantly concerned about them, saying I'd hate to let a real issue go unresolved. Most patients are so embarrassed by the idea that they're going to get a psych consult, they shape up immediately. Some require an actual MD consult -- the provider sits down with them and has a "come to Jesus talk".

    If the patient really IS crazy and/or needs a psychiatric consult, then you've got a different issue. A friend of mine swears he's had good success with answering the call light and saying "This is God. I want you to stop abusing my nurses." I can't recommend that; I haven't seen it used. What I HAVE seen work is, for the patient that constantly yells "Help Help Help", a physician pick up the call light to call into the room and say "This is God speaking. I need you to be quiet now."
    Lol, so for someone who thinks they are God to say that is better than for a nurse to say it, not the same level of lying I guess :P
  4. 2
    Just ask. Why are you doing this? you never know the answer might surprise you. I had a patient that admitted they were frightened and a night light helped, they were pretty anxious as well but ashamed to admit it. But I have also had patients who will continue. Be upfront and firm. A move closer to the nurses station where the patient can be seen is also an option. It is usually brighter and noisier there, and if you tell them that they may not get much sleep if you have to move them they may desist.
    canoehead and tigerlogic like this.
  5. 2
    You could unplug it from the wall .

    (This is a joke. Sort of. But I bet the original poster felt tempted.)
    opossum and katherine100 like this.
  6. 2
    With these repeat button happy patients, we will request ativan, sedatives, and get them up for a snack. I work LTC. Most people say,"No! I don't want to get up." Me: "Ok, but if you continue on the call bell, we are getting you up." Problem solved usually. Psych consults are often ordered as well.

    Also, we will spend time with them and allow a few repeats. However, I have residents who will ring their call bell q 10 minutes even after we've attended to their needs....and then some. One of my residents is very restless on nights she cannot sleep and craves the attention. Well, we cannot be in the room q10. So I make her stay up later at night until the sedative kicks in. She complains. Tough. I tell her, "You need to be tired and sleep with everyone else."
    Last edit by joanna73 on Mar 8, '13 : Reason: added information
    canoehead and opossum like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from Jenni811
    Really!?? Everyone is required to answer call lights. Even my manager will come out of her cave and answer lights. The only one who doesn't is our nurse educator. She is lazy. She stands in the hallway telling people "room 21 light has been on for 3 minutes and 21.653 seconds." She just stands there staring at them like she is star gazing. I just want to be like...COME JOIN THE FUN!!! lazy turd. oops...did I say that?
    Yep, everyone here is required to answer them too, doesn't mean they do it. I don't really mind though, unless the other PCT and I are transferring a flacid stroke patient back to bed and another call light is going off. BING BING BING BING BING BING
  8. 1
    document it! once had a problem pt doing the same thing but other nurses were too busy to put it in writing. i charted 3 days in a row this behavior and then in the name of pt safety there was a family meeting with doc, fam, pt and next day, no more bad behavior.
    katherine100 likes this.
  9. 0
    Oh my lord! Reminds me of one of my worst days. I had a fall risk patient, bed alarm, attention seeking. Would do everything possible: pull out IVs, rip off cardiac leads, push the call bell, and TRY TO GET OUT OF BED every 15 min just to make the alarm go off. And not because he was crazy but bc he actually expressed that he loved the attention he was receiving here in the hospital. I couldn't ignore the bed alarm.... I'm so glad my shift ended because my last move was going to be restraints. It's just that it took hours to convince myself at first and then the charge nurse that this was a deliberate pattern AND no interventions were working. So until the end of my shift, I was running into his room with every approach I could muster to no avail.

    *sigh* I'm glad for you your shift is over too, OP
  10. 2
    //However where I work, the RN's don't usually answer call bells, it is usually the PCT. //

    That is another issue. Nurses not answering bells when they are 1 cm away....
    proudcna and Vespertinas like this.


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