1. I just got a big dose of ouch. I spoke with a mom who had a 22 month old who was coughing and fussy. Of course, they talk to us while holding the child. "WAAAAHHHH!" the baby goes. ..right into the phone. I think I just blew an ear drum. The headphones we use for telephone triage can be adjusted up or down, but how did I know this is what would happen? Now I know what a person with a hearing aide feels like when someone screams! How do others handle this lovely situation?
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    About Audreyfay

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 1,265; Likes: 26
    Diabetes educator, Telephone triage
    Specialty: 31 year(s) of experience in Everything but psych!


  3. by   renerian
    I wear a hearing aid and yes it does hurt! Just ask them to put down the baby away from the phone since you cannot hear over the screams. Good luck though as I am sure many won't want to do that......

  4. by   eltrip
    Perhaps (quickly) switching to the handset in the event of this happening again? With our callers, I usually adjust the volume down...IF I have any sort of warning. Other wise, I grab the handset if at all possible.

    Gee, I feel for your ear!
  5. by   Audreyfay
    Great idea! I didn't even think of switching to the handset. The controller is right in front of me. All I could think of was to rip the earpiece out of my ear. Perhaps next time (I know there will be a next time) I can think quick enough to do that. I think it's the first time that is so difficult. Thanks!
  6. by   eltrip
    Anytime! This is why we're here, right?
  7. by   passing thru
    I'm curious about what you tell anxious parents to do for a fussy and screaming baby... do they usually call back?
  8. by   luvTTnursing
    First, I ask them when this started.

    Then, I take them through a series of questions to determine if this crying requires a clinician evaluation.

    A typical guideline is if the baby is truly crying, unconsoled > 2 hours, have them bring the baby in to the clinician for evaluation. This is after assessing that the parents have done all they can to console and have made sure baby is safe, without injury (something from the clothing stuck on their skin, or a thread caught tight around their finger), and no fever, no recent history of a bad cold with possible respiratory distress (chest retractions, nasal flaring); and no excessive vomiting or diarrhea w/ signs of dehydration.

    If reassurance and advice for home care only is still indicated rather than a visit, then I utilize a variety of experts information about colic, crying and parental relief (seeking other caregivers, such as family or friends to allow parent(s) to rest). One such expert is Barton Schmitt, which someone has mentioned on this posting as a clinician who published pediatric protocols.

    Yes, they often will call back. Keeping calm myself, reassuring and allowing the parent to feel that a clinician evaluation is OK if they are anxious is a very calming measure after the 2nd or 3rd call within say 24-48 hrs.

    I hope that helps.
  9. by   SnowyL
    I can't tell you how many times I've had this experience. YOWCH! I am usually warned by my secretary "screaming child in phone," before I get on the call.

    I politely ask the mother if someone else can tend to the child while we talk b/c with a screaming infant on her lap and in her ear, I know I do not have 100% of her attention and she will most likely miss something/s I say.

    I think it's rude for people to call, knowing the child is screaming right into the phone. I've done tele triage for years & unfortunately, I think this is something that will happen for years to come.