Loud Cartoons for Elderly Patients

  1. How do you feel about nurses/CNAs/other staff members turning on loud cartoons for their elderly patients to watch? It has been noticed that someone at the facility I work for seems to go into rooms when residents are not there and turns the TV on to the kids cartoon channel, all the way up to volume 100. Some people believe that the TVs are turning on by themselves, but that seems unlikely. Maintenance has checked the TVs several times for any malfunctioning issues, and there appears to be none. Also, some of the residents have noted that their remotes are not where they left them when they leave their rooms, so that makes it seem even more likely that someone is purposely turning on the TV to loud cartoons. While some of the residents brush it off or seem oblivious to it happen, others have made numerous complaints. One resident put on her call lights at least 8 times during the shift because she could hear the loud TV in the next room, where nobody was watching TV.

    At other facilities, sometimes they gather residents into the living area and turning on the TV to--you guessed it--cartoons without any feedback from the residents as to what they actually want to watch.

    It seems like a strange situation, for sure. Some people think someone is pulling a prank, while others are annoyed, because they feel like someone is treating these elderly patients like children. What are your thoughts? I am not sure what to think about this.
  2. Visit NurseSince2014 profile page

    About NurseSince2014

    Joined: Oct '18; Posts: 65; Likes: 94

    81 Comments

  3. by   NurseSince2014
    Also, staff members are suspicious that it is one particular nurse who is doing this. There is reason to suspect her, too, because she recently changed the backgrounds on the computers at the nurses station to pictures of Daniel Tiger. However, there is no proof that she's actually doing this, and she always denies it when people ask her.
  4. by   macawake
    Quote from NurseSince2014
    It has been noticed that someone at the facility I work for seems to go into rooms when residents are not there and turns the TV on to the kids cartoon channel, all the way up to volume 100. Some people believe that the TVs are turning on by themselves, but that seems unlikely.
    Quote from NurseSince2014
    Also, staff members are suspicious that it is one particular nurse who is doing this. There is reason to suspect her, too, because she recently changed the backgrounds on the computers at the nurses station to pictures of Daniel Tiger. However, there is no proof that she's actually doing this, and she always denies it when people ask her.

    You don't exactly have to be a super sleuth to catch this person "in the act". If a person goes into empty rooms and turns on the TV at maximum volume, that should easily be noticed by any staff who happens to be nearby. It's not exactly discreet.

    Is this facility really large with very few staff? I guess I don't understand how anyone could go undetected for any period of time.

    Next time you hear a blaring ruckus.. Run (If that's safe to do )
  5. by   NurseSince2014
    It's a small, 50-some resident facility, but each nurse and aide are assigned a large number of residents. Most of them are too busy caring for residents to notice if someone is entering rooms and turning the TVs on to obnoxious volumes. This issue has been going on for months, and seems to have started after a resident, who did actually like to watch loud cartoons, passed away. Anyway, this person is very sneaky, but it seems inevitable that he or she will eventually be caught. When that happens, then, I am wondering how to appropriately address the situation with this person.
  6. by   macawake
    Quote from NurseSince2014
    It's a small, 50-some resident facility, but each nurse and aide are assigned a large number of residents. Most of them are too busy caring for residents to notice if someone is entering rooms and turning the TVs on to obnoxious volumes.
    I get being too busy with something critical making you unable to leave a patient's side, but I don't understand not noticing "obnoxious volumes". I'd hear that ten rooms away.

    Quote from NurseSince2014
    Anyway, this person is very sneaky, but it seems inevitable that he or she will eventually be caught. When that happens, then, I am wondering how to appropriately address the situation with this person.
    Okay, so I'm not qualified to diagnose and ToS won't allow me to offer medical advice....

    But my tongue-in-cheek answer is...

    A psych consult...

    Seriously though, if the culprit is a member of staff, isn't this for management to deal with?
  7. by   NurseSince2014
    Quote from macawake
    I get being too busy with something critical making you unable to leave a patient's side, but I don't understand not noticing "obnoxious volumes". I'd hear that ten rooms away.



    Okay, so I'm not qualified to diagnose and ToS won't allow me to offer medical advice....

    But my tongue-in-cheek answer is...

    A psych consult...

    Seriously though, if the culprit is a member of staff, isn't this for management to deal with?
    Oh trust me...you can hear the TVs all the way down the hall, especially if four or five of them are blaring at the same time. It doesn't go unnoticed, it's just that we haven't actually caught the person in the act--yet.


    I agree that it should be management addressing the situation. However, nothing appears to have been done as it keeps happening. Daily. I was just wondering if there was anything I should say to the person should I catch them in the act. As much as I don't want to embarrass them, it does seem odd that someone would think playing loud cartoons for residents that don't want to hear/listen to them would actually be a good idea.
  8. by   brownbook
    When she gets caught???? A psych evaluation . When a patient is discharged lock the remote in a drawer or somewhere?

    Unfortunate about the residents gathered in the living room and cartoons on the TV. Is there an activities director? Seems playing videos of beautiful sunsets and beaches with musical accompaniment would be better, or just ask what they'd like to watch?

    Ha ha, I just read Macawake's post. Two votes for a psych evaluation.
  9. by   NurseSince2014
    Quote from brownbook
    When she gets caught???? A psych evaluation . When a patient is discharged lock the remote in a drawer or somewhere?

    Unfortunate about the residents gathered in the living room and cartoons on the TV. Is there an activities director? Seems playing videos of beautiful sunsets and beaches with musical accompaniment would be better, or just ask what they'd like to watch?

    Ha ha, I just read Macawake's post. Two votes for a psych evaluation.
    Management actually has actually removed the TV remotes from empty rooms, but you can still turn on the TVs using buttons on the TV screen itself. Even unplugging the TVs doesn't help, as this person just plugs them back in anyway. Perhaps simply locking the doors to rooms that are not being used would be a solution but this wouldn't necessarily solve the problem for residents who leave their room temporarily for therapy, and come back to random cartoons playing on their TV. I agree that asking the residents what they would like to watch is a better idea, as most of them are still able to express their own opinions. It appears that it is not the case, though, and as I don't actually work for that other facility, not much I can do about it. It just seems interesting that more than one person, at different facilities, thinks that most residents want/are interested in cartoons.
  10. by   macawake
    Quote from NurseSince2014
    I agree that it should be management addressing the situation. However, nothing appears to have been done as it keeps happening. Daily. I was just wondering if there was anything I should say to the person should I catch them in the act. As much as I don't want to embarrass them, it does seem odd that someone would think playing loud cartoons for residents that don't want to hear/listen to them would actually be a good idea.
    Why is it important to you to not embarass this person? If you go into an empty room an turn on the TV on volume 100, you're not doing it to be helpful and nice to the resident. Why would a resident want to return to their room and be greeted by a noise level that could almost rupture an eardrum?

    This isn't normal behavior. If you're asking me what I would tell a coworker who did this and I caught them in the act, it would be along the lines of knock it the **** off. I'm guessing my answer isn't very helpful to you, but I have no patience with this type of behavior and wouldn't tolerate it. Hopefully someone else can give you suggestions that are more helpful to you.

    Good luck!


    Edited to add:

    Quote from NurseSince2014
    Management actually has actually removed the TV remotes from empty rooms, but you can still turn on the TVs using buttons on the TV screen itself. Even unplugging the TVs doesn't help, as this person just plugs them back in anyway. Perhaps simply locking the doors to rooms that are not being used would be a solution...
    (partial quote)

    This clearly shows that this person isn't doing it for the benefit of residents. What possible rationale is there for turning on TVs really loud in empty, uninhabited rooms?
    Last edit by macawake on Oct 15
  11. by   NurseSince2014
    Quote from macawake
    Why is it important to you to not embarass this person? If you go into an empty room an turn on the TV on volume 100, you're not doing it to be helpful and nice to the resident. Why would a resident want to return to their room and be greeted by a noise level that could almost rupture an eardrum?

    This isn't normal behavior. If you're asking me what I would tell a coworker who did this and I caught them in the act, it would be along the lines of knock it the **** off. I'm guessing my answer isn't very helpful to you, but I have no patience with this type of behavior and wouldn't tolerate it. Hopefully someone else can give you suggestions that are more helpful to you.

    Good luck!


    Edited to add:



    (partial quote)

    This clearly shows that this person isn't doing it for the benefit of residents. What possible rationale is there for turning on TVs really loud in empty, uninhabited rooms?
    No, thank you for your response. I have a feeling many of my coworkers would react the same way you would. I guess I want to avoid embarrassing the person because I know I would be embarrassed if I was caught turning on cartoons to the maximum volume. It just seems like a silly thing to be caught doing. But then again, I'm not the one who is doing it, and maybe some embarrassment would be good for him or her. Like you, however, I also don't understand the reasoning for doing this, but he or she must get something out of it.
  12. by   psu_213
    Quote from NurseSince2014
    residents who leave their room temporarily for therapy, and come back to random cartoons playing on their TV.
    Sorry if this is rude, but there is nothing about this scenario that makes sense, including why this person is doing what he/she is doing. The quoted part above, however, is really confusing to me. So the resident goes to therapy. Someone turns the TV in the room on, puts cartoons on, and puts the volume up to 100. Everyone on the unit hears it. Yet the resident will come back eventually and the TV will still be blaring. Maybe a silly question, but why does no one go in to the room to turn it off within a minute of it being turned on? Maybe I am missing something, but this seems like an easy part of this to resolve.

    I, too, do not understand why no one can "catch" this person. If you do, however, I would tell them "this is totally inappropriate, please stop doing this." If it happen again...even one more time, go to management and name names.
  13. by   amoLucia
    Are we being snookered?
  14. by   NurseSince2014
    Quote from psu_213
    Sorry if this is rude, but there is nothing about this scenario that makes sense, including why this person is doing what he/she is doing. The quoted part above, however, is really confusing to me. So the resident goes to therapy. Someone turns the TV in the room on, puts cartoons on, and puts the volume up to 100. Everyone on the unit hears it. Yet the resident will come back eventually and the TV will still be blaring. Maybe a silly question, but why does no one go in to the room to turn it off within a minute of it being turned on? Maybe I am missing something, but this seems like an easy part of this to resolve.

    I, too, do not understand why no one can "catch" this person. If you do, however, I would tell them "this is totally inappropriate, please stop doing this." If it happen again...even one more time, go to management and name names.
    We actually do turn off the TVs as soon as we hear them/have time. Problem is whoever does it, just turns them back on eventually.

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