I am having a bit of a problem here with one particular intern (not even a surgeon) who constantly brings her mobile phone in the OR with her. The other day i asked her if she was on call, she wasn't. I then refused to answer her mobile because as far as i'm concerned i'm not working as a secretary, i'm here to provide patient care. I told her that answering her phone was not my job and she replied with we all have to do things that aren't in our job description....BTW I didn't answer it that day i just kept pressing the red button and cutting all the callers off.
Yesterday she was in our OR and of course the mobile came with her. She was on call and i told her that if i wasn't busy then i would answer the phone and take BRIEF messages. The phone did not stop ringing. When i was actually doing the count with the scrub the phone rang and she demanded i answer it. I sweetly told her that a surgical count should be uninterrupted please. When i answered her phone it was usually ppl trying to give me tons of info on a patient. Some even tried to have me interrupt the procedure just to inform her about so and so on this ward.
I have to say i was a bit curt, and did not have much time for the callers. I was scouting and my focus was on my scrub and patient not on her phone. I just told them that I can't do anything to help them and i'm not interrupting the surgery unless it is URGENT and to just give me their name and details and to call them back.
I mean this is ridiculous. There is a person on the table requiring a surgical procedure and her assistance, why is she being so easily distracted? Why put ppl on call who are in theatre? And why not leave it with their unit secretary?
Does anyone else here have this problem? What is your hospital policy on mobile phones in theatre? My hospital doesn't allow mobiles in theatre at all, but it's a bit of a joke.
I have decided to take this further and talk to management. I'm sick to death of being treated like a secretary. Sorry this is a bit of a vent but i'm so fed up.
Fortunately i haven't had too much of a problem with this. I don't think our hospital has a policy on this because all surgeons, residents, med. students and assistants bring their cell phones into the operating room. I HATE answering pages or cell phones period, even the surgeon's. One time i wanted to throw this doc's pager against the wall and break it because he was getting called ALOT for stupid stuff and it was interfering with me getting my paperwork done AND these calls were making him in a bad mood. Its distracting and it interferes with patient care. And i feel the same way, i am no secretary. If i wanted to be a secretary i would be working behind a desk answering phones and taking messages. Its BS!!! I think its a good idea to take this matter to management. Hopefully they will do something about it.
Last edit by IsseyM on Dec 5, '07
I am a former asst dir. of surgery. I required ALL cell phones and pagers be left with the "front desk" personnel. The nurses loved it but secretaries sure didn't. Too bad. I explained to the office personnel that the care of Pts. on the table would NOT be interrupted. If there was an issue with this policy (with a surgeon) I handled it. If a "busy" doc was on call, I often carried his/her beeper myself. You'd be surprised how many of the unnecessary phone calls stopped.
Last edit by ebear on Dec 16, '07