Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cell Phone Rant


I remember the days when people were scared to bring their cell phones in the hospital. They were afraid to set off the monitors and cause all kinds of harm. Most would at least shut them off, or go outside to talk. My....how things have changed.

Daily, I walk into a patient's room and have to wait for them to get off the phone. "Hey man...the doctor just came in. Let me holla at you later. Yeah. Yeah. Uh huh. No. I know. Haha. Hey, can I call you back, the doctor is still waiting. Hey doc, hold on a second while I finish up." That's pretty much the conversation I hear about 8 times a day. If its not that, its the loud ass ring tones that blast in the middle of my history taking or physical exam. Forget them not answering the phone or sending it to silent. Nope. I have to wait for them to answer and finish. Even text messaging or game playing takes precedence over my exam.

Yesterday I was suturing a 7 year old boys forehead, and his mom was sitting outside the door shouting on the cell for all to hear. "Hell yes kinfolk! As soon as I get out of here I'm gonna drop him off at my cousins. I got my blunts all rolled up. You better come with yours rolled up too! We gonna get so high tonight. I got the fatties bitch!" Great mom. It's no wonder the kid had the vocabulary of a 3 year old.

That same day...I had a patient wanting a phone book to deliver pizza to his room. We didn't have a phone book. He had his cell phone right there waving it in my face, but of course didn't want to dial '411. Then, when it was time to discharge him with his prescription for Bactrim (four dollar prescription), he flipped out. How dare I give him a script and not just the pills...because of course he couldn't afford the four dollar medicine. "Sir, you have a cell phone and you wanted to order a pizza....I think both of those cost more than your script will, right?" I cannot post his reply due all the cuss words. Let's just say my Press Ganey scores sucked for that day.

-ER Doc

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I went into bitch mode the other day when a patient tried to answer his phone in the middle of his persantine stress test. He was not happy. Good thing we don't have Press Ganey scores.
CardioNP

kate said...

I'm a receptionist in an outpatient clinic located in a large hospital...let me tell you that one of the most irritating things about my day is listening to the mish-mashed chorus of game noises, garbled ring tones and screaming conversations that take place in our lobby EVERY SINGLE DAY. It drives me crazy...

Anonymous said...

My absolute fav is when they roll up via EMS talking on their cell phone...

Anonymous said...

Our small home health agency used to have an "indigent fund" to cover medications in hardship cases, funded by employee contibutions, bake sales, etc. (This was long before Medicare Part D) We had a hard and fast rule---if they had money for booze and/or ciggies, they were NOT getting us to pay for their meds. I am sure we would have included cell phones, but they were ten pounds each and quite rare at that time.

Pattie, RN

Jen said...

GOOD! I'm glad you threw that well deserved statement about being able to afford a pizza and phone at him. I had a lady come to the pharmacy the other day who was freaking out about her twenty dollar cash price antibiotic (and this was the second script...whatever the first one was was more expensive). I told her next time to save herself some trouble, if cost was an issue, that she should take in a copy of our four dollar list and ask the physician if he can use something from there. and she was like you mean it's my job to make sure they do that (full of attitude)? I wanted to jump the counter but I was like yes, if you want a cheap drug then you're going to have to help them out, it's not their job to know drug prices.

people are too entitled.

ERP said...

I think I might have called child protective services on the mom that was talking about getting high.

Tina... said...

the last guy wanting the pizza would have gotten bitch slapped....

Bubba said...

WE have a "no tolerance policy" at my office. No cell phones period! It is posted in the waiting room and all the examining rooms including the washroom. If patient's use cell phones in my office, I give them one month notice and discharge them from my care. So far i'm not starving yet and my patients love that policy. My staff and I are constantly complimented for it. I do the same thing for non-compliant patients. For them we have a three strikes and your out policy. This way the time spent with patients is more meningful instead of repetitious. I have no patience giving the same instructions to the same patients over and over again, and why they have to do their part in their care.

StorytellERdoc said...

Boy, did this post hit it right on the head! Well done! Did he ask for youto pay for a taxi to get home, too?

darefamily said...

Hilarious and timely! I just finished a post on my blog over at www.darefamily.wordpress.com about peeps not even considering hanging up when they're in a place of business or service! I'll link back to this post too for more ammo! :)

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