How are you supposed to answer the phone?

Nurses General Nursing


We are supposed to answer the phone as thus:

"Good morning (what ever time of day it is), G_____ Elder Care, Home of the best care ever, M______C______, This is so and so, how might I help you this beautiful day????????

I kid you not.

Most people are lucky if they get , "Yo, what?" out of us.




Insincere, annoying, and a time-waster. If I had to listen to that every single time I called to check on Grandma, I'd be goin' postal in no time.

Specializes in ICU, nutrition.

If it's slow, "name of hospital, ICU, this is Konni, can I help you?"

If it's busy, "ICU, this is Konni, can I help?"

If it's crazy, "ICU, Konni."

If it's an inhouse call, I try to remember to say North or South, but I don't always.

What you have to say reminds me of when I was a Shoney's hostess: "It's a wonderful day at Shoney's of Benton, this is Konni, how may I help you?"

I, for one, hate those phony taglines you have to say when you answer the phone. I really don't care if it's a beautiful day wherever you are, I just want you to answer my question or connect me to someone who can. And what do you say when it's raining cats and dogs? "It's a pisspour day at ___"???:chuckle


"3 South, this is Heather." (and a "may I help you" if I'm still in a good mood!)


I say, NICU this is leticia, may I help you? simple and sweet no nastiness!

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Just revised ours:

Good Morning, Home Health Services Central Intake, this is Karen, How may I help you?


Hello, Home Health Services Central Intake, this is Karen, How may I help you?

Ending Call:

Thank you for calling us. Is there anything else I can help you with today?


Thank you for calling. Are there any other referrals pending? Thank you for choosing ________ (agency name).

We do intake for 3 homecare agencies and try to personalize tag line by which phone # call came in.

Since I added the tag line re other referrals, staff were surprised that we occasionally picked up another intake or were able to offer suggestion for sister agency if out of our territory.

"Scripting" works only if sincere and not too wordy. We allow variations on the above.

Happy voice inflection put into my mind especially if I just had a referral disaster: person calling in referral with incomplete info that I had to pull out of them, needed to have phone number clarafied etc. Discharge planners can tell if were busy and pick up on our stressed specch---especaily if initial call went to answering service as were all on phones. Thinking possitive prevents me from projecting my frustration on a referral source needlessly.

Will rant AFTER phone hung up and colleagues off line. LOL

yes, we were supposed to attend a freakin class on how to answer the phone(luckily i slipped by without it). we are supposed to say " good morning(or evening/afternoon),you have reached blah blah, this is mary smith, rn., how may i help you?" i answer "blah blah, this is mary." can you believe they paid damn near everyone in the hospital to take a class on this!? we have also had classes on patient satisfaction, cultural diversity, and others. all useless!

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

Tell them that your religion (conscience, principles, etc.) does not permit you to lie so that you cannot possbly answer the phone that way. You will answer the phone that way only when the suits actually enable it to be "the best longterm care ever".

Also point out that if they would keep a secretary there, to answer the d@#n phone, it would be oh so helpful.

What the h$%l do they think we are - do you know any other degreed professional in high demand that would accept such condescention?

"IVCU,Renay,may I help you?" They do tell us that we are supposed to "smile" while talking so the caller can hear it. And end the call with "thanks for calling" or "have a good day." If you have to put the caller on hold you have to explain that you're putting them on hold and why. :rolleyes:

I worked at a luxury hotel and we didn't have to go into all that! Puuhleez!

Here is the way the greeting is suppose to go where I worked. "It's a great day in (name of unit). This is (your name). How may I serve you?" Guess how many time it has actually been said? You guessed it--zero. We take care of some verrrry sick folks. There is just no justification for a "you just called disneyworld" greeting. One of the unit secretaries actually laughed out loud at the Director of Nursing when she mandated the greeting.

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