No long distance for patients? - page 3

My hospital gets about a quarter of our patients from areas that are considered long distance calls from the hospital. My hospital does not allow patients to use their bedside phones to call long distance. I've worked at one... Read More

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    I also work at a tertiary care hospital with patients from a 4-state region. By the time those who have arrived unconscious or critically ill/injured are in a condition to make phone calls, generally family/friends have been in to see them and bring them some belongings including their cell phone. In the rare instance where that is not the case, a social worker generally assists them in obtaining a phone card.
    Last edit by Altra on May 5, '13 : Reason: typo

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  2. 0
    At my facility you can pay to get long distance. If people have a cell phone I always advise against it because it is so expensive!
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    Are you sure they can't if they dial the operator first? i thought pt at my hospital couldn't make long distance calls for the longest time, then I found out they could if they dial 0 for operator first.
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    Quote from LynnLRN
    Are you sure they can't if they dial the operator first? i thought pt at my hospital couldn't make long distance calls for the longest time, then I found out they could if they dial 0 for operator first.
    I'm sure. When I try to call a patient's family I have to go through the operator, they always ask if I am "medical staff" and they then remind me that I can only make long distance calls to get consent for something from a POA/NOK. Most of us lie and say this is why we are calling, then hand the phone to the patient so they can talk to family. There are many times where it's not really that big of a deal whether or not they can talk to family, but there are also times were a patient gets denied and it turns out that would have been there last time talking to family. The straw that broke the camel's back for me was a patient recently who wanted to talk to her husband who was at home, the patient's daughter was bringing in her cell phone for the patient to use the next morning, the patient got intubated that night then died later and never did get to talk to her husband after being admitted.
    psu_213 likes this.
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    Yep, very common. At several hospitals I've seen nurses do this: the patient legitimately needs to make a long distance call. Nurse goes to the desk and calls, and then transfers the call to the patient's room. I don't know if administration would approve, but sometimes patients really, really needed to make these calls, and there wasn't a better option.
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    phoning is a convenience, not a necessity. Surely someone in the family can bring a cell phone to the patient, or get a burner at Walmart. I do not agree that it is a "right" to expect someone else to pick up this expense.
    OCNRN63 and amoLucia like this.
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    Quote from classicdame
    phoning is a convenience, not a necessity. Surely someone in the family can bring a cell phone to the patient, or get a burner at Walmart. I do not agree that it is a "right" to expect someone else to pick up this expense.
    I'd agree that sometimes patients have other options, but do you really think that's always the case? Very few things are actually a necessity, being able to communicate with family when ill, potentially on the verge of death, isn't a necessity, but I do think facilitating that is a pretty basic part of patient advocacy.

    While the "room charge" for inpatients is pretty vague, it runs between about $1,000 and $3,000/day, so I'd argue that you can't claim they aren't paying for things like phone access.

    So back to my patient who, as it turns out, was denied the opportunity to talk to her husband one last time, you'd argue there's nothing wrong with that?
    psu_213 likes this.
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    Quote from classicdame
    phoning is a convenience, not a necessity. Surely someone in the family can bring a cell phone to the patient, or get a burner at Walmart. I do not agree that it is a "right" to expect someone else to pick up this expense.
    And how is the patient supposed to reach their family member to ask for a cell phone without phoning them?

    I work at a rural hospital. Many of our patients live an hour or more from our facility, and the family may not have reliable transportation or gas money to come visit.
    jrwest, psu_213, and wooh like this.


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