Call light abuse. What to do??? - page 4

by IBleedGreen

7,939 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. 1
    Quote from Calabria
    You could unplug it from the wall .

    (This is a joke. Sort of. But I bet the original poster felt tempted.)
    I'm glad I never did that. Of course I have wanted to! The one time I know someone who did, it turned out to be the wrong patient to pull the light out of the wall on; she was a trach patient who proceeded to have respiratory distress and coded. That employee lost his job.

    I will have the talk with patients about how it's not a telephone, and tell the story of the boy who cried wolf. And sometimes I just go in the room and pick every intervention I can think of, and do them all at once. It's a bit annoying to get a bath, dressing changes, have to brush your teeth, do range of motion and physical therapy, maybe get a little trach care if you have one, fluff the pillow x2, elevate the feet, roll all over the bed multiple times, and be made to snack whether you want one or not, all the while the nurse chatting away about the therapeutic benefits of each thing, if all the patient wanted was to bug the nurse. Occasionally it has made the patient either tired or frustrated and they leave me alone a bit. Plus it gives me a bunch of things to chart when I have to document the things that were done for the patient.
    Vespertinas likes this.
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    A little OT, but kind of related and funny (now) many years ago my Grandmother was in the hospital, I don't recall what for, but she was able to do more for herself than she cared to admit. She had a little "call button" habit and it got to the point that staff was slow to answer her light b/c it was for crap like "can you hand me a tissue?" and "I can't read the TV listings, what channel is Wheel of Fortune on?". Apparently they were taking too long to come running to her latest emergency, so she dialed 911. Hand to God, true story. My husband is a police officer with the local dept and a very close friend of ours was the dispatcher who took that call. She's passed away now so its not a HIPAA violation to bring it up at family gatherings....
    DawnJ likes this.
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    Oh yeah I've had that happen. You have no idea they have called 911 from their room until the cops show up.I have also had them call switchboard for pain meds.
  4. 1
    That happens enough that there is a protocol for it. Patient calls cops, cops call hospital security, security comes to talk to the patient. If they aren't A&O we are allowed to remove their telephone...(but not the call light).
    turnforthenurseRN likes this.
  5. 1
    We're a pretty small community so dispatch called the hospital back to tell them what happened. My Aunt unplugged Grandma's phone after that---turns out she had the ability to hop right out of bed and plug it back in!!
    canoehead likes this.
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    Tell the patient that you need to prioritize your work, and every time they hit the call bell for a tissue or channel change, they fall down a step on the priority list. So it won't be surprising when over the course of the night they get answered slower. Tell them how often you round, and it's helpful to save the small requests for then. If they call every minute or so they are making a choice to be put down on the priority list, it's not being mean, it's a law of physics. Also prioritizing work is probably mentioned somewhere in hospital policy...so that will back you up when they complain.
    turnforthenurseRN likes this.
  7. 0
    Get him a sitter for a shift. I know it goes against productivity, but at least you would find out if he was just lonely or playing games.
  8. 0
    "now is an ideal time to talk about your discharge plan!!"
    In all seriousness, does your hospital have volunteers? Maybe one can sit with the patient for awhile in the afternoons.
  9. 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?
    Omg on my floor the other day a nurse came looking for me and found me in another patients' room assisting a patient and said:

    "hey bringonthenight, room 1 is buzzing"

    Me: "oh what did they want?"

    Her: "oh I'm just letting you know they're buzzing" walks off like she's the best nurse ever.

    I answer all call lights if I'm free or close to the room that's buzzing or walking past a buzzing room. I just always picture a patient having chest pain or almost falling out of bed and needing urgent help.


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