Reply To: Working and electronic devices

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First, my employer’s policy for cell phones and other personal devices is that they’re prohibited except for during authorized breaks. I don’t really know of any facility that would have a policy that differs greatly from that. As for your situation; you don’t mention your position, as well as your patient load in your post, but I’m just going to post on what I’m familiar with. I, also, work nights but I have yet to see a “peaceful” night where I would have time to read anything other than a patient chart. I have found that I’m busier on nights than I was on days, simply for the reason that there is so much to do that simply doesn’t fit into any other schedule. My average patient load is 6, with possibly 1 or 2 techs depending on the census. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything that doesn’t relate to direct patient care. I usually will work solid from 7 pm until around midnight or 1 am when I finally have a chance to sit down and start charting. The charting on 6 patients, mixed in with hourly rounds and medication requests, usually takes 2-3 hours, at the least. By then my morning labs are starting to come in and I’m instituting any pharmacy requests or follow up labs that need to be done, as well as administering any meds that are called for by protocols. After that’s finished, it’s time to begin morning med pass and rounds and to finish shift summaries to prepare for shift change. If I find any time in between any of that there’s always stocking and housekeeping that can be done.
What I’m trying to say is this; your employer pays you to work for 12 hours. They don’t pay you to sit, to study, or to increase your knowledge of perioperative care. Use of electronic devices in the workplace should be limited to what’s vital for direct patient care and limited to the devices provided by your employer. My employer provides cell phones for communication between staff and notification of patient needs. This doesn’t give me free reign to use my personal cell because the hospital uses cell phones. It’s difficult enough to explain to patients and family members the rationale behind the hospital’s use of communication devices without having to explain why I’m in the nurses station reading a book. I think it’s unprofessional and sends the wrong message to patients and loved ones to use a personal electronic device in the workplace. But, this is my opinion, which, by the way, you did ask for…

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