Obnoxious bed alarms and falls

  1. You guys find it ironic that patients trip over their own bed alarms.

    I feel that half the time they're a distraction and set off very easily when patients shift the slightest. They're great don't get me wrong. I know numerous times they saved my ass or the ass of the patient that was about to fall. I also feel like that they can be a pain in the ass too. I can't count how many times visitors have come in and accident triggered the alarms that were on the chair while the patient was in the bed and vice versa. I even remember the old bed alarms that used to play to the tune of Mary had a little lamb. I used to hear that damn noise while I slept.
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    About Grobyc82

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 56; Likes: 84
    from NJ , US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    4 Comments

  3. by   Stepper
    I work on a rehabilitation unit and yes, they are irritating. However, I had a patient fall and resulted in a broken hip. Now when I hear an alarm, I always think "sounds better than the fall thud of a broken hip".

    I also think if alarms are over-used.... leads to a relaxed attitude when the sound is heard.
  4. by   Buckeye.nurse
    Our bed alarms are built into the actual bed. There are 3 different sensitivity settings. For the most part, they work great, but they are terrible at letting a patient sit on the side of the bed to eat. Usually, the only solution is to turn off the bed alarm, and put the chair alarm pad under them.

    Speaking of chair alarms...one of the alarm settings is a woman's voice saying "Please don't get up. Sit back down and wait for help." Apparently the chair alarm was turned on at one point while the patient was in bed. His family came to visit, and his son sat down in the chair. When he got up, you could hear the daughter-in-law's laughter all the way to the nurses station. She wanted to take it home.
  5. by   Cat365
    I remember that when I was a tech I used to dream about that sound. I remember falling asleep one night and waking up running through the house to get to the room. My Mom thought it was hilarious when I burst into her room. Turns out she was watching a medical show.
  6. by   amoLucia
    Quote from Cat365
    I remember that when I was a tech I used to dream about that sound. I remember falling asleep one night and waking up running through the house to get to the room. My Mom thought it was hilarious when I burst into her room. Turns out she was watching a medical show.
    This is a late reading but I had to respond ...

    I was the only nurse for a small LTC unit, but we had an Assisted Living type unit connected. I had to go over once a nite to make rounds and to respond to any emergencies if the CNA called/paged me.

    Walking down a darkened hall towards the desk, I heard someone call out that FAMOUSLY FAMILIAR phrase "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up". The CNA hit the house lites and we searched each room but everything was OK. Only in Joe's room was his TV loudly droning on as Joe snored. So I just turned it off.

    This was just about at the time that that commercial was being introduced on TV.

    It was Joe's TV that I heard. I still laugh about it now 20+ yrs later.

    Ironic, because I am an avid supporter of the use of Medic Alert Alarms. Personally, I HAVE a system that I used when I actually fell 3 years ago.

    But getting back to bed alarms, there used to be bed alarms that could be programmed with pts' names. Like "Miss Anna, lay back down" or "Mr Jim, don't get up". Its use was silly to me because my pts were basically all hard-of-hearing and foreign/ethnic.

    Go figure!

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