Remember pagers? - page 2

One of my favorite things to do with my incredibly outstanding medical nurse wife Belinda is to watch a medical show, pause the DVD, and discuss what's taking place or recall a situation. Last... Read More

  1. by   Lane Therrell FNP, MSN, RN, HTCP
    I have fond memories of my grandmother sitting in her bedside chair at the nursing home, responding to news of her grandchildrens' activities with her predictably standard comment, "Times change." The older I get, the more I understand the layers of profundity rolled up in those two words. Since the dawn of pagers, we've added robotics, AI, wearable digital devices, genomics/epigenetics, and more to the leading edge of healthcare. What's next?
  2. by   Medic/Nurse
    I forgot I had one in the pocket of a skirt and was driving down the Interstate, it went off on vibrate and I thought I had a bee in my skirt. I am severely allergic to all things wasp and could not get off the road fast enough.

    I was quite a sight, flailing until I realized it was that freaking pager that would not stop buzzing.

    Not on call.

  3. by   NurseSpeedy
    Quote from SeasonedTech
    Um....we still use pagers in my hospital. On my floor we carry them every shift. No voicesaras (sp?)for us on the med floors. I've been at my hospital 18 years, we've always had the them.
    You're not missing out on anything. I hear the phone ringing in my sleep. The thing rings nonstop-while I'm with patients, while I'm already using it to speak with a doctor, while I'm doing a sterile procedure, up to my elbows literally in feces, or even in the middle of a code.

    I miss my pager. I could prioritize my work and call back when it was best for my patients. Now I get random calls complaining about the kitchen or sadly my confused patient who cannot remember where he is or why after I've reoriented him 50+ times already that morning has still got the mental capacity to read my number off the board, dial it, and ask me the same question he did two minutes earlier. I've had other patients offer to flush the phone down their toilet or throw it out the window along with their beeping IV pump and faulty bed alarm. Gotta love new technology.
  4. by   FurBabyMom
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    Whaddaya mean remember? I still have one! So do all the anesthesia providers, surgeons, and some OR staff here.
    Us too...
  5. by   sallyrnrrt
    Quote from Davey Do
    guide-logo-png

    My beaver's going off, my computer and I are both slow on the uptake, and I thought cell phones had replaced pagers!
    The devil in me would page a resident.....remember the voice pager, knowning he was on an elavator coming to the unit, and in a disguised voice., holler help let me out of here.....and other sillies
  6. by   FurBabyMom
    Remember? Don't have to "remember" since they are still prolific at work! Still get to babysit the pager farm at work... (shrugs) We have Vocera now too...but only the nursing and ancillary staff.

    Our attendings CAN forward their pager to their cell phone...but...not all do. Some carry both (and forward it) so I get to deal with the message twice. No, I'm sure they have a real reason, but it seems to be to annoy the OR staff... And for the floor staff to annoy the OR staff over things that can, in fact, wait.
  7. by   FurBabyMom
    Quote from adventure_rn
    How is it that my hospital is on the 'cutting edge' or surgeries, but we're still using communication technology that was 'cutting edge' in the 80s? When I can literally access the internet from my cell phone? Baffling.
    Valid point. The thing is - I don't see pagers fully leaving anytime soon. There are data security issues, as well as reliability issues. Newer modes of communication force hospitals to provide work phones or force individuals to use personal devices for work (with or without reimbursement). There is an element of control (perhaps reliability is better) missing. If using personal devices, the hospital has no way of assuring that the person who may need reached gets that message (what if your cell phone gets shut off - like by the carrier - in error, etc?). If the hospital controls the system and pays the payments - it's inherently more reliable.

    Also - most hospitals like having access to every page sent between providers and staff to providers. They can and do pull the paging system logs when reviewing events (ex. failure to respond, etc.). Their access might change with a third party system. Then there is the endeavor of encrypting and everyone who would need transitioned from pagers' new devices. Oh, and ensuring the software chosen is HIPAA compliant. The third party software may or may not be something the hospital can purchase and "store" on their servers which then leads into who "owns" the data, access to it, etc.
  8. by   djh123
    Believe it or not, we got 'em where I work right now. Call lights go off in the hall, but CNA's get paged immediately, and if they don't answer in 5(?) minutes, they go to the nurse pagers.

    Re: your comic and people being thought of as 'important' when a pager goes off ... this is a funny story. Just shortly pre-internet, I was working as a contract programmer at a national laboratory (like scientific research, nuclear weapons, etc.), and another programmer told me of another guy who was on-call - hence the pager connection - and he was speeding to the Lab and got stopped by a cop. He explained that there was 'a problem at the Lab', and he 'needed to go fix it', and the cop, not knowing that it was just a software problem, told him "Just go! Fix it!". Ha ha.
  9. by   djh123
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    867-5309 is another good one. It actually connects to a college student's dorm room here ���������������� �
    Not to mention being a one-hit wonder in the 80's - who was it? Tommy Tutone - I had to go look that up.
  10. by   holly_golytely
    I remember pagers for a different reason! My mom got one in the late 80's so she wasn't tethered to our landline while she was on call.

    I will never forget: we had to walk out of Indiana Jones, because of that devil box! But we knew the risk.
  11. by   JBudd
    My worst memory of a pager in the 90s was a self important, entitled 17 year old who had rolled his fancied up pickup, with passengers in the truckbed no less, being on a back board and strapped down, pager kept going off. He was insulting, demanding, self righteous, the whole 9 yards. In those days we didn't take off the backboard until CT cleared the neck, and as he was responsible for the huge number of people needing clearance, it was taking a while. At one point I rushed to the next bed, participated in CPR/code Blue, and then came back to his side. He had the nerve to tell me off for leaving him, never mind the other patient who was trying to die, I was supposed to be answering his pager.

    His mom finally shows up, wants to know why he never answered the pager, (ah, we were busy and there were no phones in the pt rooms to hand one to him?). She was, to us, polite and apologetic, but completely let the brat diss, disobey, insult and ignore her, and was unable to make him leave the ER with her after he was cleared, he was going to go hang in another room with the friends until they were DC'd as well.

    Never really cared for pagers after that......
  12. by   Hoosier_RN
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    867-5309 is another good one. It actually connects to a college student's dorm room here ���������������� �
    in my hometown in Indiana, a girl in my class had this number, when the song came out. Her name: Jennifer. Her parents changed to an unlisted/unpublished number. That number is currently an elderly man. Poor fella...
  13. by   Davey Do
    Quote from Lane Therrell FNP, MSN, RN, HTCP
    I have fond memories of my grandmother sitting in her bedside chair at the nursing home, responding to news of her grandchildrens' activities with her predictably standard comment, "Times change."
    Yeah- my Grandmother said something similar to me, Lane Therrell:

    2525-jpg

    Quote from Lane Therrell FNP, MSN, RN, HTCP
    The older I get, the more I understand the layers of profundity rolled up in those two words. Since the dawn of pagers, we've added robotics, AI, wearable digital devices, genomics/epigenetics, and more to the leading edge of healthcare. What's next?
    Some years ago, I was watching a "Simpsons" episode when Grandpa humorously referred to the fear older people had to changed times. This gave me comfort in realizing this fear is somewhat universal.

    I enjoy living like in ELO described:

    "All I had to do was pick up the phone
    I'm out in space, trying to talk to someone
    Yeah, we're living in
    In a modern world "

    but I also fear modern technology. Probably because everything seems less personal now, so what does the future hold?

    I feel blessed to have lived at this period in history. And I'm just as glad to be the age I am, knowing I passed the halfway mark long ago.

    Thanks for your post, Lane Therrell- it was fun to play with and very thought-provolking!
    Last edit by Davey Do on Dec 6 : Reason: typo

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