You know what really grinds my gears? When someone pages you and then walks away from the phone.
It annoys me to no end when I try to promptly return a page, only to be met with endless ringing on the other line. When you page someone, you have to give them a grace period to answer the page. We can argue how long that grace period should be, but at least sixty seconds.
Yesterday I was waiting all afternoon to get a callback from a surgeon's office on my pager. When I finally got the page, at like 4:30, I quickly ran to a phone to return the page. The person who paged me was on the phone. I hung up and called back, this time getting a message that they had left for the day.
Even better is when you try to return a page a few times and get no answer/a busy signal, and then the person re-pages you and gets angry at you for not returning their page. That's my personal favourite.ReplyDelete
Gotta get rid of that pager and use a cell phone instead. I was able to make the switch about 6 months ago and these things no longer happen. Besides, pagers have become the punchlines to all sitcom jokes about the 90s.ReplyDelete
But how does that work? I mean, I'd be less likely to answer a cell call when I'm with a patient that a page. Because at least with a page, I have a minute to explain to the patient.Delete
It's easy. Let it go to voicemail if you can't answer. You can then listen at the first opportune time and you get more info (usually) than you would with a page. If it is likely to be important (for me, calls from the hospital wards or lab), I explain to the parent that I have to take this, just like I would with an important page.Delete
When I can answer the call immediately, it saves the hassle of having to write down a call back number, calling the parent, getting their privacy direct message since my number is blocked, then calling the operator and having them place the call for me. I have loved the switch from pager to phone.
I can forgive getting paged and then the line being busy when I call back. It has happened when I've paged someone as well that as soon as I've sat the phone down that it then starts to ring from someone else (usually a nosy relative) phoning that extension looking for nursing staff.ReplyDelete
I don't like the double bleep - where they bleep you and then 2 mins later bleep you again, and act annoyed when you tell them you were in the middle of siting a catheter or even cardiac arrest, and therefore couldn't prioritise their bleep asking for some Paracetamol.
Also don't like the bleep and run. One ward in particular is guilty of this where they bleep you, and even if you are sat beside the phone when getting the bleep and phone them directly back, often they will take a while to answer. Usually with that ward I will hang up a little faster than other wards and then force them to double-bleep -
if it's something actually important then be at the phone waiting for an answer, or phone a direct cardiac arrest!
At my school, medical students aren't even allowed to have text pagers... so we're limited to the 15 digit callback number. Unless it's a fellow student, no one ever bothers to wait at the phone for a callback. It's almost pointless to even HAVE the pagers.ReplyDelete
I don't think I've ever gotten a page returned in 60 seconds. Most of the time the ETA is about ten minutes, or longer on the night shift. For nonemergent consults I'm not even supposed to repeat page until I've been waiting half an hour.ReplyDelete
The other paging issue that chaps me is when I answer the page and hear, "Oh, I paged you for Dr. Important. Please hold while I get him on the line." So your time is so valuable that you can't page me yourself and wait for a callback, but mine is worthless enough that I can wait on hold. Lovely.ReplyDelete
Yes I find that irritating as well. Especially, I think, since I'm in FP which generally gets no respect in the first place. Except I have to see 1/3rd more patients in order to make half as much money...Delete
I have to do that a lot in the ER. In the 10 or 15 minutes it takes for a page to be returned, our doc can generally see at least one patient. Since there are many patients waiting to be seen, it would be silly for him to camp out at the phone and twiddle his thumbs. So instead, a nurse or secretary dials the page and answers the return call.Delete
I'm sorry that when you call back you sometimes need to wait 1 or even 2 long minutes for us to get the physician back to the phone, but honestly, this wastes the least amount of time for the smallest number of people.
Yeah, I do actually think it's okay if you're a busy doc to have a nurse make the page while you're doing other stuff. But there ought to be *someone* there to answer. Because otherwise what the hell is the point?Delete
This issue irritates me as well. Perhaps the answer is for me to have my staff return the page and then get me when the other doc is on the line. I would probably only use this tactic for repeat offenders. Hmmm...Delete
I'm afraid I made that mistake about a million times while I was attempting to figure out the paging system in the hospital-thank God, my attending didn't mind too much (especially after I brought cookies for all the anesthesiologists I had bothered by that).ReplyDelete
We have some docs that take 10-30 min to return a page, then are upset that the nurse isn't waiting by the phone. Pagers suck. Nurses don't expect an instant response, but they can't sit by a phone waiting for calls that will be returned at some point, maybe... Stupid system.ReplyDelete
My husband cannot believe we even have pagers anymore, honestly drug dealers don't even use this antiquated piece of technology. Pager systems can have a lag, just like text messaging so if it takes 2 min to go through to the other side and then you have to wait another few minutes to finish up what were doing when the page cam through.... well, 3-5 minutes is more than our 30second attention span these days!ReplyDelete
The other week I got a call from the medicine floor who said they had paged me but I never called back so sorry for calling on your phone.. well, as is the usual case I thought they had dialed wrong or somehow messed up, well I paged myself and it never went through so I proceeded to call the ER, L&D and ICU to tell them the pagers were not functioning only to have one of the ICU nurses tell me they had paged me 3 times and even gone to the ER looking for me (they were told I had left the building to get dinner) about 1.5 hrs ago.... ugh, must have been an important notification.
I usually return my pages immediately if I can. Literally, immediately - as long as it takes me to dial the number on my cell. And they don't pick up?? Come on, it's been like 30 seconds!! That bothers me. I usually call back a couple more times and then delete the number. When I page, I wait by the phone. If I know I can't wait by the phone, I page but let the nurses / unit clerks know so they can overhead page me. So I don't get this page and run business.ReplyDelete
And re:phones, I've been on wards where they just use mobile phones. I've also been in hospitals that use the text page system. And the number pagers. The best BY FAR is text pages. You can page twice for a longer message. You can re-access details. You don't have to interrupt an interview - just glance down and see if says urgent or not. I realize these things are expensive, but text pagers are the most amazing thing ever in hospital communication and I don't understand why in 2013 we still have to suffer with these stupid little number pagers. The only good thing about them is that now I have our ward numbers memorized.
So yeah. Text pagers. Would eliminate this nonsense of not answering an immediately returned page. Unless it's a cryptic message like "meet me stat" but unsigned and no location given.
What about cellphones and text messages? That seems a lot easier/better than a separate text pager. Just get a Google Voice number so you can turn it off when you're not on call, and if it's a real emergency, they can make phone calls to it too.Delete