Call light abuse. What to do???

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You are reading page 3 of Call light abuse. What to do???

Calabria, BSN, RN

1 Article; 118 Posts

Specializes in NICU, OB/GYN.

You could unplug it from the wall :yes:.

(This is a joke. Sort of. But I bet the original poster felt tempted.)

joanna73, BSN, RN

4,767 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics.

With these repeat button happy patients, we will request ativan, sedatives, and get them up for a snack. I work LTC. Most people say,"No! I don't want to get up." Me: "Ok, but if you continue on the call bell, we are getting you up." Problem solved usually. Psych consults are often ordered as well.

Also, we will spend time with them and allow a few repeats. However, I have residents who will ring their call bell q 10 minutes even after we've attended to their needs....and then some. One of my residents is very restless on nights she cannot sleep and craves the attention. Well, we cannot be in the room q10. So I make her stay up later at night until the sedative kicks in. She complains. Tough. I tell her, "You need to be tired and sleep with everyone else."


375 Posts

Really!?? Everyone is required to answer call lights. Even my manager will come out of her cave and answer lights. The only one who doesn't is our nurse educator. She is lazy. She stands in the hallway telling people "room 21 light has been on for 3 minutes and 21.653 seconds." She just stands there staring at them like she is star gazing. I just want to be like...COME JOIN THE FUN!!! lazy turd. :) oops...did I say that?

Yep, everyone here is required to answer them too, doesn't mean they do it. I don't really mind though, unless the other PCT and I are transferring a flacid stroke patient back to bed and another call light is going off. BING BING BING BING BING BING :banghead:


108 Posts

document it! once had a problem pt doing the same thing but other nurses were too busy to put it in writing. i charted 3 days in a row this behavior and then in the name of pt safety there was a family meeting with doc, fam, pt and next day, no more bad behavior.


652 Posts

Oh my lord! Reminds me of one of my worst days. I had a fall risk patient, bed alarm, attention seeking. Would do everything possible: pull out IVs, rip off cardiac leads, push the call bell, and TRY TO GET OUT OF BED every 15 min just to make the alarm go off. And not because he was crazy but bc he actually expressed that he loved the attention he was receiving here in the hospital. I couldn't ignore the bed alarm.... I'm so glad my shift ended because my last move was going to be restraints. It's just that it took hours to convince myself at first and then the charge nurse that this was a deliberate pattern AND no interventions were working. So until the end of my shift, I was running into his room with every approach I could muster to no avail.

*sigh* I'm glad for you your shift is over too, OP

Specializes in LTC (LPN-RN).

//However where I work, the RN's don't usually answer call bells, it is usually the PCT. //

That is another issue. Nurses not answering bells when they are 1 cm away.... :(

Indy, LPN, LVN

1,444 Posts

Specializes in ICU, telemetry, LTAC.
You could unplug it from the wall :yes:.

(This is a joke. Sort of. But I bet the original poster felt tempted.)

I'm glad I never did that. Of course I have wanted to! The one time I know someone who did, it turned out to be the wrong patient to pull the light out of the wall on; she was a trach patient who proceeded to have respiratory distress and coded. That employee lost his job.

I will have the talk with patients about how it's not a telephone, and tell the story of the boy who cried wolf. And sometimes I just go in the room and pick every intervention I can think of, and do them all at once. It's a bit annoying to get a bath, dressing changes, have to brush your teeth, do range of motion and physical therapy, maybe get a little trach care if you have one, fluff the pillow x2, elevate the feet, roll all over the bed multiple times, and be made to snack whether you want one or not, all the while the nurse chatting away about the therapeutic benefits of each thing, if all the patient wanted was to bug the nurse. Occasionally it has made the patient either tired or frustrated and they leave me alone a bit. Plus it gives me a bunch of things to chart when I have to document the things that were done for the patient.

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical.

A little OT, but kind of related and funny (now) many years ago my Grandmother was in the hospital, I don't recall what for, but she was able to do more for herself than she cared to admit. She had a little "call button" habit and it got to the point that staff was slow to answer her light b/c it was for crap like "can you hand me a tissue?" and "I can't read the TV listings, what channel is Wheel of Fortune on?". Apparently they were taking too long to come running to her latest emergency, so she dialed 911. Hand to God, true story. My husband is a police officer with the local dept and a very close friend of ours was the dispatcher who took that call. She's passed away now so its not a HIPAA violation to bring it up at family gatherings....

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Oh yeah I've had that happen. You have no idea they have called 911 from their room until the cops show up.I have also had them call switchboard for pain meds.

Specializes in MICU.

That happens enough that there is a protocol for it. Patient calls cops, cops call hospital security, security comes to talk to the patient. If they aren't A&O we are allowed to remove their telephone...(but not the call light).

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical.

We're a pretty small community so dispatch called the hospital back to tell them what happened. My Aunt unplugged Grandma's phone after that---turns out she had the ability to hop right out of bed and plug it back in!!

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Tell the patient that you need to prioritize your work, and every time they hit the call bell for a tissue or channel change, they fall down a step on the priority list. So it won't be surprising when over the course of the night they get answered slower. Tell them how often you round, and it's helpful to save the small requests for then. If they call every minute or so they are making a choice to be put down on the priority list, it's not being mean, it's a law of physics. Also prioritizing work is probably mentioned somewhere in hospital that will back you up when they complain.

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