Call bells in clinicals


I'd like your opinions. I'm in my first semester so we're doing med-surg clinical. I've been an LNA for 2 years on a med-surg unit so I'm pretty comfortable in that environment. The other day the professor wanted to observe our bedside assessments and we are required to write a narrative based on our assessment findings. Sort of as if we were charting it in the computer. She observed mine and had positive things to say and told me to go write my narrative so she could read and correct it before post conference. I answered a few call bells and during a lull I went in the back room with another student to write my narrative. I was back there for maybe 15 minutes and was finishing up when the professor came in and said call bells were crazy and scolded us for sitting there. I understand the importance of helping to answer bells and I have no problem doing that. However, I also feel like there are plenty of staff to help answer bells and I'm spending a lot of money to be there to learn nursing and be a student. With the insane amount of work we have to get done I feel like if I spent all my time in clinicals answeing lights and basically being an aide, I'm not able to focus on my school assignments and get done what I need to in the time I have on the unit. We are supposed to be off the floor at a certain time for post conference but we always run late and our post conference time is shortened because she keeps making us answer call bells. We always leave late. What is your take on this? I have no problem helping answer bells but I feel that my nursing assignments should come first, since I'm there to learn and I cant do that when I'm being told to stop what I'm doing and rush around as an aide all night. I feel that spending a little time reading the chart, writing a narrative, and interviewing my patient should be allowed. The rest of the time I'm more than happy to answer bells.

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Well you weren't sitting behind the desk, chit-chatting with your classmates. During down time on the floor, of course help answer call lights. In this case though, you were instructed to write your note before post-conference, which is what you were "sitting there" doing. What were you supposed to do, answer call lights indefinitely and then not get your school assignment done?

Given the circumstances, I'm with you on this one.


927 Posts

Not in my program. All clinical paperwork are to be done during post-conference, if we are caught doing it during clinical time, we get scolded too. If there is down time, we are expected to find things to do - whether it's answering call bells for rooms we're not assigned to or helping other students who are busy. We're not even allowed to go near the charts on day-2 of clinical, as day-1/pre-clinical is what that is for. Day 2 is all about the patient and being on the floor. Of course that leaves us scrambling during post-conference to get our paperwork done...