No long distance for patients? No long distance for patients? | allnurses

No long distance for patients?

  1. 0 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 other hospital where long distance was free to patients (except overseas calls), so this seems a bit ridiculous to me, but maybe it's more common than I think. Is this the norm?
  2. 27 Comments

  3. Visit  Tait profile page
    #1 1
    Our hospital blocked long distance calls as well, which in a large metro area, can sometimes mean they can't call south of the city :/
  4. Visit  NicuGal profile page
    #2 0
    Ours are blocked as well. We have this superlong code we have to put in whenever we want to call long pain.
  5. Visit  Pepper The Cat profile page
    #3 0
    Yep - If pts want to call long distance they must call collect or on a calling card. Only certain phones on the unit will dial long distance too.
  6. Visit  silverbells_star profile page
    #4 2
    Our patients can't call long distance either but depending on the situation we might let them use our portable phones that we carry. But really it hardly ever comes up, most people bring their cell phones.
  7. Visit  sbostonRN profile page
    #5 0
    Same policy at our hospital. They can use a phone card if they want to use the phone to call "long distance" but I usually suggest a prepaid cell phone. We sometimes make the call from the nurses desk and transfer it into the room, depending on the situation.
  8. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    #6 0
    I know I can call long distance from the cordless phone that I carry for the shift (provided by the hospital) would not make any sense for them not to. I'm not sure if they can call long distance from the phones in the pt rooms in the ED (I can always give them "my" phone for a long distance call. I guess I will have to try to make a long distance call from a pt room phone tomorrow.
  9. Visit  blondy2061h profile page
    #7 0
    Yep, no long distance. They use their cell.
  10. Visit  KelRN215 profile page
    #8 0
    When I worked in the hospital it was the same. You could only dial the area code of the hospital. Anything outside of that (which might actually be only twenty minutes outside of the city) was "long distance" and could not be dialed on the phones in the patients' rooms. Staff had to use a code (like 8 digits long) to dial long distance. In the rare instance when someone had to dial long distance and did not have a cell phone, we let them call on our phones.
  11. Visit  MunoRN profile page
    #9 0
    I think in the case of elective surgery patients it's reasonable to assume that they'll probably have a cell phone and charger. But most of my patients weren't even conscious when they left the house and came to hospital, much less were with it enough to pack their cell phone and charger. And that assumes they have one which you can't really assume with the typical 90 year old.

    What really perplexes me is that the land line provider in town doesn't charge for long distance, even their cheapest plan considers all calls to the US, Canada, and Mexico to be "local".

    Mainly, I would think the ability to contact immediate family would be a pretty basic patient right.
  12. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    #10 0
    Quote from MunoRN
    Mainly, I would think the ability to contact immediate family would be a pretty basic patient right.
    I agree...especially for the aforementioned 90-year old, whose children (grandchildren, etc.) live who knows where.
  13. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    #11 4
    Long distance phone calls are blocked at my place of employment, too. If a patient wishes to place a long distance call, they must use a personal cell phone, calling card, call collect, or use one of our phones at the nurses station.

    With the huge push by hospital administrators for excellent 'customer service,' the policy of blocking long distance calls does not do much to promote patient satisfaction.
  14. Visit  blondy2061h profile page
    #12 2
    We can have the operator connect them to a long distance number if there's a pressing need.