Sunday, March 20, 2011
Weekly Whine: Pick up the phone!
The above cartoon demonstrates why I never answer the phone on the ward. I figure it's not my job and I shouldn't be answering if I don't know what to do with the calls. I never even answered the phone at the nursing station if I was pretty sure it was for me, because what if it wasn't? This philosophy has served me well for many years.
However, lately I've been feeling pressured to answer the phone. It seems like on the ward where I work, the rule that only designated people may answer the phone does not seem to hold. In fact, I've been embarrassed a few times when I've been sitting near the ringing phone at the nursing station and some other random person (a therapist, PA, etc) rushed to answer it.
That said, the person who did answer the phone usually ended up on some wild goose chase, which I really, really don't have time for. I recently overheard a PA mumbling to herself, "Why do I answer the phone? Why??"
Also, I haven't actually seen another doctor answer the phone.
I don't know what to do. Do I waste my time answering the phone and end up wasting chunks of time fielding calls, when my job is to see and treat patients? Or do I risk looking like a primadonna who will sit by a ringing phone and let someone else answer it?