Why aren't pt phones & TV free?

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in New PACU RN.

I really hate to see (mostly) elderly patients, sometimes bedridden, with visitors maybe once every couple of days, just staring at the wall. At least TV and phone would offer a distraction. The prices are outrageous though. And our hospital does not provide a portable phone for the patients like a previous hospital I was at did.

The nurses are so busy most of the time that they're lucky if they get their assessments, meds, & charting done on time never mind having the time to connect and talk with the patients.

Imagine staring at the wall all day. Most of us would get antsy if we are stuck home on a rainy day - they're stuck in a tiny, sterile, room for god knows how long. I try to bring them newspapers and magazines so that they would at least have something to read & look at.

As annoying as most visitors are - I really wish more of them would visit regularly.

It's really sad.

Specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff.

they have to pay for tv and phone???? Is this common practice? I have never worked for a hospital that charged!! Wow!!

I'm curious on the cost per day though.

The hospital that i work at has personal tv's/phones at each bedside. It is thought that you need to pay £1.50-£2.50 a day to watch tv/use the phone and it costs a bomb for your family to ring you on these phones.

But on the other hand it is a nightmare having to field phone calls from the family who have rung the ward itself to talk to the patient whilst trying to get everything else done that needs to be done(not to mention it ties up the ward phones so docs cannot get through)

It is a service that has to be paid for like everything else in this world. I would like to see 'day rooms' bought back as that way the patients could be sat around a communal area with one tv and socialising.

At our hospital, I *think* the phone is free (never had anyone ask about that!), but the entertainment package (full TV channels, etc.) is $12/day, capping at $100. Patients can only charge the cost to their credit cards (and not many people think to grab credit cards when they're being rushed out the door by EMS). Of course, that means you'd have to stay over 8 days to get any free benefit from that. It is actually embarrassing for me to explain that the TV costs that much.

If you pay the $12/day, you get a ton of channels, Internet access, and a number of Internet radio stations, hence the cost. But most people on our floor (elderly) don't need all the bells and whistles, especially the Internet.

I hate that it's "all or nothing" when it comes to entertainment -- they need an option in between. With the cost of everything these days, patients can't afford to pay $12/day for much of anything.

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Hospice.

Wow! I've never heard of that. Phone and TV are free here where I live. In our local community hospital there are 14 channels, phone, and WiFi.....all free.

Paying for TV might discourage some patients from staying forever, but it doesn't seem very customer service oriented. We just had a big thing on customer serivce and now they are thinking about getting new TVs...wireless internet...better snacks in the cafeteria...groan! :-)

Specializes in FNP.

We don't have phones for patients at all, we do have TV but no cable packages. I don't really think people are entitled to TV personally. It is a foolish thing to pay for when we can hardly afford minimal services or nutritious food. Then again, I don't watch TV anyway and don't understand why anyone does, lol.

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU.

We have Dish or something equivalent....because of the customer satisfactions surveys. Hey, I can't get the proper equipement to treat you, but as you are choking on your dinner and I don't have any suction caths to suck out that chicken nugget, we can watch Lifetime Movies.

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

I know the hospital i work at now used to have a fee for tv and phone, but that was years ago when i remember going there to visit my grandfather. Now i think the price is just figured into the cost of the room. The hospital also has wifi for paitents and bedside phones- but also permits patients to use cell phones in just about the whole hospital.

Specializes in ICU, M/S,Nurse Supervisor, CNS.

There is no direct charge for the phones or televisions at my hospital, but of course, you are paying for it somewhere in that hospital bill. We just switched providers, too, so now patients have a larger selection of channels, plus they have a dial-up type of service for them to view educational videos on various conditions/illnesses. The cardiac pavillion, which is the newest part of the hospital, has wireless internet that is accessed through the television as well. Every room has a big fancy remote control and a wireless keyboard for patient and family use. It's pretty nice.

I do remember, though, a hospital where I did clinicals for my LPN charging a daily fee for the television. The odd thing was that the rooms were semi-private and there was only one television, but I suppose whoever paid for it had control over what was on and too bad for the other patient :confused:

Specializes in acute care med/surg, LTC, orthopedics.

Each of my hospitals has a pay-per-use service for TV and phone, but the cost is minimal - maybe $3/day or a weekly rate. I don't consider this any more unfair than staff having to pay up to $13/day for parking. Hospitals are in the business of making money, you know.

Specializes in Cardiology and ER Nursing.

I think TV service costs around $5/day here. Typically this "service" isn't run by the hospital. It's installed and run by an outside company. However, when my grandmother was in the Cleveland Clinic 4 or so years ago, TV service was free. It seems to vary by hospital even hospitals within the same system. Phone service has typically been "included" in the cost of service being provided by the hospital. Frankly though, if I were lucid and in the hospital I'd rather read a book/newspaper/magazine as daytime TV and much of evening TV is filled with mindless garbage.

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