Nurse tracking devices - page 7

How do you guys feel about wearing tracking devices on your person? Your location displays on a computer screen where you are at inside the hospital at all times. Thanks... Read More

  1. by   deehaverrn
    Our unit got the Vocera badges last year. Other units in the hospital supposedly trialed them and approved but I think its awful. They are worn clipped to your shirt or on a cord around your neck. They function like a walkie talkie and by voice recognition. Ours don't turn call lights off or on. I insist that somewhere there is an ongoing computer log of where we are, but my coworkers think I'm paranoid. The thing will click at say "can you take a call?" , half the time it will put it through even if you say "NO". Therefore, you're in a pt. room and someone starts talking to you about another about breach of confidentiality! Once a coworker got a call right when we were putting a postop in her bed. She answered, thinking it would just be about something else she needed to do, and it was a doctor's office telling her about her own test results which were not poor! Everyone just looked stunned, and I said to the others..I think maybe you can handle this..and took her out of the room for some TLC. (She's a young CNA). Also often the system "doesn't understand" when you try to call someone and so it takes longer...guess what,,,they discovered that sometimes it has difficulty understanding when there is a lot of background noise..especially other voices. (So like an emergency in OB where the pt is screaming, the family is carrying on, and the resident is yelling for things..."would everyone be quiet a minute while I call the attending?". And many of the docs don't want us to page them to the vocera because they don't want to be overheard by bystanders. (we have earphones available..but that is yet one more thing to wear around my neck or in my pocket so I don't have one.) We used to have phones and so you could page someone and go about your work. Now due to all the docs who won't answer to the Vocera, you have to remain at the desk until you're answered. Also, even now when the unit clerk answers the call bell she immediately calls the nurse assigned to the pt, bypassing the CNA completely. They say that they pt stated "i need my nurse" so they call us, interrupting whatever we are in the middle of. With a phone it was much just didn't answer it, this interrupts much more. A recent, medication safety newsletter talked about being in a quiet place to prevent errors and yet they have new cabinets right at the room to make us have to do the drawing up of meds in the hallway or pt room with people bumping into us and now more interruption. Our system also has "blind spots" where it doesn't read us. One day, I had been in the nursery (a blind spot) talking to the social worker about a problem pt (this is a quiet and private place at the back of that area). I was reprimanded by the charge nurse for "not being logged in", although I clearly was. I demonstrated by having someone right there call me, and my Vocera responded. She insisted that I must have just done so. Another time I went to the restroom and said "no" to an incoming call (which actually worked this time). As I was finishing it again prompted and I said "no" and someone started talking so I hung it up by pushing the button. I washed my hands and went back to the hallway. The total bathroom time was probably three minutes. Anyway, my nurse manager comes tearing around the corner, yelling "why don't you have your Vocera??!! I just stopped and looked at her, then calmly asked "are you yelling at me?" (there were several of us there). I showed her my functioning Vocera and stated that I had just come out of the lav. Now I don't even remember what she wanted although it wasn't any big deal.
    I resent having to wear these things. They constantly malfunction. Now they tell us we need to "train" them so that the voice recognition system will work better. (somehow my celll phones system works fine with no training) So we are supposed to go through all the names we call..right like I have the time. Please note..I don't have an accent or anything. And when you mess up a name like say "Call CAROL SMITH" and it says "i didn't understand, I think you said CALL WALTER MAN is his correct" something is wrong with the system!! The phone was much more reliable. Also, only a few people like managers and unit clerks were sent for training. So I never had any instruction on the whole thing. Just was handed to me, told push the button and say call whoever you want to call...Very few people on our staff like it. Everyone likes the phones better. Also, I resent when I have to call out sick and talk to the charge nurse on that thing..I don't want to share with the whole unit!
    As others have said, the hospital must be getting something out of it. I mean, its not for better care. We have beds that are 40 years old and don't even have break pedals and proper siderails, we still have to go to the end of the beds to put them up and down, I think if they were interested in making our jobs better that would be my first choice. Or chairs for the nurses station that weren't falling apart. Or actually enough staff to do the job.
    Kind of reminds me of how years ago when they took away the 'good friday' holiday...said it was because it wasn't fair since that was a paid holiday while easter was we would instead have one additional personal day. Now I always had planned ahead and requested to work good friday especially if i was working Easter, to take advantage of the "time and 1/2", (we also got an additional day off at a later time which we could request). I knew that the hospital was saving $ and doing us no favors.
  2. by   Diahni
    I have read these posts with great interest. Wearing a tracking device is an indignity that should be reserved for prisoners who are under house arrest. The larger question is: How can nurses have more control over the environment in which they work? Nurses, by a long shot, comprise the largest segment of the health care system. How might we have a collective voice that reflects this? Supposedly, there is strength in numbers. Where is this strength? Nursing is my second career, and I am a few months short of finishing my training. I have never been mistreated and abused as I have in both the hospital and at school. No need to itemize, I believe. Is there a solution? How can such a wonderful profession cause its practitioners such psychic distress? There is enough stress in caring for the sick. I'm wondering if anyone has some suggestions about this.
  3. by   canoehead
    Why doesn't everyone wear them? It would be helpful to look up which docs are in the hospital and wear they are.

    Who hasn't wondered where their manager was at a critical moment?
  4. by   Diahni
    Quote from canoehead
    Why doesn't everyone wear them? It would be helpful to look up which docs are in the hospital and wear they are.

    Who hasn't wondered where their manager was at a critical moment?
    Good point! But could you imagine a doctor agreeing to a tracking device?
    I doubt it. I have another idea - why not put tracking devices on charts? My experience has been that this is what people spend most time looking for. All this electronic stuff have great uses, but the way in which they're used speaks volumes.
  5. by   eden
    Wow,this vorcera system people are talking about, I don't think I'd like that one either. Our is just a small clip the size of a dollar coin. there is no voice recogniton or anything like that. It doesn't work in the bathroom. If ours was anything like that I am sure we would fight it as well.

    As to why doesn't everyone wear them. a) it's not hospital wide, only in L&D, b)the drs don't use them because they are often at the clinic across the street with patients between deliveries unless they are the 24hr inhouse dr so it doesn't work across the street.
  6. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I've used vocera, it's not the same kind of tracking device. Vocera is more like a 'hands off' communication device. It CAN tell you approximately where you are, but to my knowledge, it neither generates recorded data, nor does it give precise enough location data to determine which room you're in, or for how long.

    In any case, I HAVE used vocera and the major concern about it is the thing is flimsy, so many of them kept breaking down, that even after the company replaced all the units, they are still no longer being used because they break too often.

    If you don't put it on it's necklace, then the battery doesn't seat well and the snap-in connections end up breaking over just a short time. Plus, the speaker cracks and shorts after just a short period of time.

    I don't think vocera is as much a 'big brother' issue as it is a technical disaster.

    They remind me of those 'cheap' walkie-talkies we all got as kids. Great concept, but after discovering that they were, well, 'cheap', the concept wore off fast.

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Feb 10, '07
  7. by   FossilRN
    I would LOVE to have these devices in my unit!!! Especially with the smoke-free environment coming.
  8. by   dansdoll
    I have worked at multiple facilities that use "tracking devices." It always seems like there is a marked increase in patient care in these facilities. CNA's are on the floor instead of wherever they get off to in non tracking facilities, and it seems like I get to care for my own pts instead of picking up the slack for other nurses who always seem to find someplace else to be in non tracking facilities. The only draw back is the big brother feeling, but guess what.... the fact that nursing continues to allow sorry nurses to work in our healthcare environments, instead of consistently reporting these sorry providers and facilitating their termination means we get what we deserve. If nurses would be accountable for reporting others who do not hold up the standard then we would not have to track each other to get rid of the ones who do not hold up the standard.
  9. by   Cat Nurse
    The system we currently use, is a nurse locator. It is a device alittle smaller than a beeper. The nurses station has the master control, they press locate and can find the nurse and call into the area. It has pros and cons. Some people are overly dependent on it and other don't use it and look for the person. Like anything it is good as the users want it to be.
  10. by   twotrees2
    Quote from LeahJet
    Why don't they just tag our ears like cattle and be done with it?
    be careful what we ask for lol - second to last place i worked to clock in we hd to use fingerprint ID - no fingerprint no clocking in or out - wsa quite the laugh watching them try to get diabetics to work - we thought theyd make em use thier toes but they let them slide cause they didnt think they could get thier toes up that high lol. no joke!!
  11. by   moonrose2u
    most hospitals are going to this system. its in place so that the hospital can defend itself appropriately when patients and family members state that the nurse didn't arrive prompty when called, etc. so, in other words, it saves the hospitals the cost of a pricey lawsuit.

    on the other hand, i believe that it is a personal invasion of privacy for the nurse. yes, nurses do tend to their patients properly, but what happens when the computer screen (they are all capable of being 'watched' and administration can print out a log of your whereabouts) doesn't show where the nurse might be and she in the bathroom because she has ibs with a couple of episodes a day (she couldn't miss work...perhaps a single mom or whatever and needs her pay) and it suddenly crops up on her review that on the average, she spent 12 additional minutes over her alotted break/lunch time, unavailable and unable to picked up by the computer screens?

    i know that this has happened to a nurse before.

    so the tracking devices are not only for patient safety, but also for the hospital to do exactly what the devices imitate: 'tracking' the nurses...

    if that isn't an invasion of privacy, i don't know what is...

    but then again...i believe nurses do not have full personal rights while working.

    just my two cents
  12. by   27YearRN
    [QUOTE=nurturing_angel;2049364]My supervisor has talked to us about a similar device that we may start using. Supposedly it will tell tptb who isn't answering lights in a timely fashion and if we spend too much time in the breakroom or the bathroom. All of this is because some bigwig complained that his wife waited too long to have her light answered on another floor. Not sure I will comply with wearing one.

    Hate it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ours downloads info into a computer so if management chooses they can figure out how much direct care is given to patients, how much time is spent "elsewhere". They say it can replace those dumb time studies we've been a part of, but I see where they can tell how many minutes/hours of a shift is spent in rooms with patients.
    Some of our staff remove them and leave them in rooms LOL and "move the tracker" because they don't want their minutes accounted for!
  13. by   Pam I Am RN
    I personally am offended at having to wear one and it's not because I am a slacker, to the contrary, I bust my butt. However after reading all the posts on this subject I can see where I could use it against the hospital I work at. The hospital automatically deducts a 30 minute lunch break whether you get one or not. In order to be compensated for not taking a lunch a time sheet correction form needs to be filled out each day you don't get a lunch. My unit director told me she would not approve my time correction forms anymore so I can tell her to access the tracking device and see where I am and that I did not get a lunch break.