I definitely appreciate cell phones and am glad to have mine. I can't even imagine how much more awesome high school would have been if I lived in a world where I had my own cell phone. And it provides a lot of convenience for doctors. I was recently watching an episode of Cheers where Frasier got paged and had to go find a payphone to return the page. We're lucky.
That said, there have been dozens of times when I want to wrench the cell phone out of a patient's hand and throw it out the nearest window.
OK, I get it that you don't want to turn your phone off in the doctor's office. I don't either. Or even that you don't want to switch it to vibrate. Now that I have a phone, I feel antsy if I turn it off.
However, I would never actually answer the phone unless I honestly thought the call was a true emergency. If my children's daycare was calling, that I would have to answer. Anything else, I would ignore. However, a lot of patients don't feel that way. They often answer their phone and occasionally even have prolonged conversations right in front of me!
I don't answer my cell phone when I'm examining a patient. I feel like the least they can do is pay me the same courtesy.
And it's so common to hear them say, "Sorry, I can't talk right now, I'm at the doctor's office." Why answer in the first place?ReplyDelete
I answer if it's the hospital ID, or my kid's school. Otherwise I ignore it.ReplyDelete
We were rounding one morning and a patient answered their phone and started talking. There were 8 of us, and they just seemed to ignore that. We left and went back later. Too bad you can't do that easily in an outpatient settingReplyDelete
Funny story, a doc in the practice I was shadowing in walked into a patient's room and they were on the phone speaking in a foreign language (not a common one like Spanish, it was Swahili or something equally obscure). The doc told the patient that he also spoke that language and could even tell them exactly what they just said, "Sorry, I have to go. The doctor just came in." The patient was thoroughly impressed, though the doctor doesn't actually know a single word in that particular language! LOL.ReplyDelete
My cell goes off as soon as I step through the hospital doors, and doesn't come back on until I've finished my appointment. The only exception is when I -know- its going to be at least 30 minutes before the doc can see me and I only use the internet function to study. Generally I bring my textbook, so even that much doesn't happen. It annoys me to have to wait on someone who's having a conversation on the tele, so I try not to do it to those coming after me.ReplyDelete
I walk out, plain and simple. You get 5 seconds to hang up like a decent person. If you don't, I walk out, see the patient next door, do my charting, examine all incoming x-rays and labs and THEN slowly make my way back. I'm sorry, but at 80+ patients every ER shift, I don't have time to listen to you discussing what might be a good lunch for next Saturday, and if you're discussing that, you're sure as hell not experiencing an emergency.ReplyDelete
I once had a patient answer their phone and have a conversation in front of me with no sign of stopping. I finally left. It was so rude. I can't imagine doing that in front of *anyone*, to be honest.ReplyDelete
When I was nursing if people answered their phone while I was triaging them I'd walk away and tend to other waiting room patients / ED patients.ReplyDelete
I have more important things to do than sit there and listen to your conversation about what kind of pasta you think you should have for dinner...oh and not to mention the fact that if you are well enough to sit their and gab on your phone WHY ARE YOU PRESENTING TO AN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT?!?!?!?!
ABB: Just to play devil's advocate (even though it was my initial whine :), I can imagine that if someone is in the ED, maybe they need to make unexpected arrangements for, say, someone to pick up their kids. Or let a loved one know what's going on. I'm actually willing to forgive more in an emergency type situation.ReplyDelete