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Before I was a nurse I worked in the food service industry, and if we were caught on our cell phones on the clock we were sent home. I think it is very unprofessional to be on your phone at work, it can wait until break or when you're in the bathroom. When I see aides hiding in the corner on their cell phone at work and I am rushing around busy like a mad woman, I have no problem asking them to help me. Get off the phone!
Cell phones are not allowed in our units. OK in other areas like lobby and halls for visitors, staff break room for staff. We have big signs posted all over and sharp eyed nurses who enoy enforcing the policy.
Back in the day we used to have a staff smoking area. They converted it to a cell phone zone for staff who want to talk on their phone in the fresh air.
While we're at it: The desk staff, who already takes way too many unnecessary phone calls, would appreciate it if you'd just give your family members your portable phone's number and stop calling the desk to ask for you too.
I see nothing wrong with a "no cell phone" policy.
I'd love to see many in our cell phone addicted society be forced to go cold turkey. It would amuse me.
What if you have a smart phone and you use it for any number of important tasks in your unit? I always put my cell on vibrate when I go into the hospital. But we use our phones for meds, to calcs, to review of relevant data, you name it. I love my iPhone. We are never parted from each other. LOL
I would disallow the use of cell phones if I were an administrator. On my last orientation, an instructor told a story about an RN who was called into the principal's office for being on her phone all the time. Turned out, she was looking up meds and doing calcs- innocent! To avoid this misunderstanding (from other staff, patients, and families), no cell phone policy. To look up meds and do calcs, use only facility-approved resources which should be available to you.
On a related note, I almost died when a Nordstrom's clerk pulled out her iPhone and started typing in the middle of doing a shoe sale with me. Turned out, she was ringing me up!
I am torn about the professionalism of cell phones because I love that I'm able to kind of use mine at work. I keep it on silent but while at the nursing station I use it for very quiet music. I don't talk on my cell phone unless I'm in the break room. I have also occasionally used the flashlight function to plug in IV pumps that are beeping so the patient doesn't have to turn on overhead lighting.
~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~