Technology...Do the Right Thing....


I know from other posts that this can be a heated topic but I just have to ask one more time...

If I put my "phone" (which I will again say is not really a phone but a sophisticated mini computer) in airplane mode which means no calls, no texts, no internet access...What is the problem with me using this technology?

I only use the best apps, the same sources you would find in the nurses station such as Tabers, Davis.

If I am trusted to be an RN why should I not be trusted to use my device in a responsible way?

My employer has no problem with this, but I see it as a recurrent problem on these boards.

As long as I use my device in a responsible way, what is the problem?

I am open to comments from any side of this discussion because I really want to do the right thing.

allnurses Guide

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

My hospital has received complaints from patients that the nurses are "texting" or "checking their mail," etc. too often. Patient can't tell the difference between someone looking up something in a reference and someone looking at porn while work.

So ... we ask the nurses not to use their devices in front of the patients. They can use them, but they should go somewhere private first.

We've also had people using them in class or in meetings -- and not paying attention to the class or meeting. That wastes everybody's time and is just plain rude. And it is not just staff nurses. We have a few managers who are VERY guilty of this -- and the other managers and educators are getting annoyed. Staff nurses have also complained that theses managers spend too much time with their devices during staff meetings and not paying attention to what the staff is trying to say. So "it goes both ways."

Used properly, such devices can be a great help. Unfortunately, too many people don't have the good sense and common courtesy to use them appropriately and courteously. And those "bad apples" spoil it for the others.


199 Posts

I have no problem stepping outside the room to avoid any confusion. Thank you! :)

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

not just stepping out of the room, because someone (visitor, state inspector, management) could see you in the hall and misunderstand. private.

Specializes in Med/Surg, DSU, Ortho, Onc, Psych.

We are NOT ALLOWED any phones,iPads or any other devices on us at work. MIMS and the net is provided to research meds and conditions though limited to senior nursing staff.

If I see u walking along, humming & playing with ur toy (whatever u want to call it), TELL me it's because ur researching something! All you iPhone users think we should just use our ESP and automatically know. WHY you think we should know, is completely beyond me - you are all so much in a little world of your own choosing that it annoys me. Also many of you do your own thing on your devices and do not just use it for research. Anybobdy who swears they don't, is lying. I was nearly knocked over the over day in a shopping mall, cos the teenager was on his iPhone - he couldn't even be bothered looking where he was going - said to me it was up to me to watch out where HE was going - unbelievable! Teenagers and old people always think they have this sense of entitlement to everything, and that they can be as rude as all hell.

I received a patient complaint just recently that a patient said his Dr was on his phone all the time when talking to him - turns out the Dr had just got an iPhone & was so excited he couldn't stay off of it, kept up to date with journals and new developments in his field. Still inexcusable in front of a patient using this though - the patient felt ignored.

If ur my student, I would tell you to lock it in your bag in ur locker & forget about it. U can research all the info u want, but I want you to THINK about what ur doing and not just regurgitate stuff.

And one more question, why can't you do reserach IN YOUR OWN TIME like we had to do when we were students and we weren't allowed these gadgets (and yes they were around 3-4 years ago)? I want to see how much u can remember the next day, as in real life scenarios as a nurse you won't have time to whip out these gadgets.

THINK about the connections between for example, medications and medical conditions - you can read anything, but unless you understand WHY you are doing something, you won't get it. Engage ur brain.

People that constantly use these devices all the time are a PITA, I think.

ADD: Another thing, have u thought about when u go into theatre, you will never be allowed these gadgets in there cos they aren't sterile, and not all small theaters have a computer in that actual OR with internet access. They want you to THINK instead, remember, the old brain u were born with! U will impress people more being able to reason out questions as well.

Has 10 years experience.

I don't see a problem with it. I use my iTouch as a resource while on the unit. Having said that I make it a point to not text or use any un-work- related apps. I tend to explain what I'm doing often so that patients and other staff know it is work related.

Rather than stepping outside of the room, I feel it is sometimes better to do it with the patient, explaining what I'm doing along the way (ie. "here is some more information, it looks like your uncontrollable diarrhea may be a side effect of that new medication you started").

If your employer has no problem with it I wouldn't worry about it. Lead by example and perception will change for the positive.


199 Posts

I am asking this question because I wanted honest opinions about this. I do not use it in place of my brain. I do use it to look up unfamiliar medications. I use Tabers for a quick blurb on a condition I am unfamiliar with and then continue the real research in my own time. It is unfair to say that "anyone who swears they don't" use their device strictly for honest reasons is lying. In my school program and at my new job, use of these devices is encouraged. I think that different policies across the country could be why there is such a division on this topic on these boards. I am not trying to change anyone's opinion. I am just saying that some of us are capable of using this technology responsibly and to the benefit of our patients. I also get very annoyed at people walking around like zombies with their devices, or rudely flashing their screens at the movies or at dinner tables. I will continue to use my device and I will use it responsibly, and after reading this I will just be even more conscious of where I do it. Thanks for the input even though some of it was a little harsh.

Has 3 years experience.

Yeah, that one comment seemed a little harsh considering the topic. I am a 25 yo who has grown up in a computer/gaming world. I do not own a i phone or use the internet on my phone vs people 20 years older than me who may use it all day at work. In my opinion its okay to use your phone was long as it in no way interferes with you taking care of your patient. I text periodically during the day when I'm not busy if I need to. I do have co workers though that sit out in the hall even and mess with their phones all day long...and they wonder why they forgot to hang that bag of K+. I actually work with a nurse that brings her lap top in to work and plays cafe world on facebook!! While im busting my ass all day long shes over there complaining about getting another admission and only 2 seconds ago she was playing that game! Now that's something to ***** about on here. Bottom line...use common sense. A nurse knows when he/she is abusing the right to have a phone at work, some people are simply good at not getting caught or they just dont care. But, I dont see anything wrong with what you are doing:)