Call lights and patient satisfaction

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by avatar Stacey Parker RN 1 year, 11 months ago.

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    Profile photo of cm_la

    Anyone who works in healthcare knows that this happens, whether you’re an RN, LVN or CNA when shift change comes the call lights start ringing and lighting up. Suddenly the hallways are lit up like Christmas and we are expected to answer them less than 5 minutes.

    I work in an LTACH than utilizes team nursing and when patients tell the nurse manager or the nursing supervisor that the call lights were not answered “at once” or “was on for over an hour” the whole team suffers and the RN is held responsible. Even if all of the patient’s needs we’re met, still some would complain about it especially during shift change.

    Sometimes it is unavoidable, but what do you think of this?


    Thankfully I have a boss who knows us and can take ‘complaints’ and put them through the appropriate filter. Some people are going to complain about anything, it is your bosses job to determine if that complaint is worth the paper it is written on. A good boss will know if you are working hard and doing the job the best you can … a bad boss will yell at you regardless of the situation.

    Profile photo of Lil_lilo

    On our unit, we’ve been able to reduce the number of call lights by “purposeful rounding” Our patients are tolieted before change of shift, pain needs and IV pumps issues are addressed, questions answered and patient’s informed that change of shift is happening and ask them to address their needs before this time. Basically we baby them.
    So these change of shift patients calling all at once… its a rare occurrence for us. Pt’s are encouraged to go the bathroom when the tech or RN are available. We also do bedside shift reports.
    Nonetheless, there are those “complainers” and our boss and charge RNs are pretty good at identifying those guys…. We still get the occasional Alert and Oriented, up ad lib patient, 40 year old who apparently is offended if the techs don’t offer them a bed bath or offer them toothbrush and paste on a maroon plastic platter…. we get little a “warning” (heads up) that these patients are high maintenance pain the butts. Its amazing what a little bit of “listening” from upper management will do to make a patient feel like they have control over their hospital stay.

    Profile photo of LSN_RN

    Does your facility do bedside shift report? Mine does. But we still have the call bell light show and “poor response time” complaints at 0600 & 1800 (before shift change at 0700 & 1900). What I usually do, and this might help those of you whose facilities don’t do bedside shift report, is round on my patients around 1830 with the 1800/1900 meds and let the patients know we are about to do shift change and bedside report. I ask them at that time if there is anything I can do for them before shift change, and usually it’s a task I can delegate to the CNA, or do on my way to my next patient (taking an empty dinner tray to the nourishment room, for example). It also helps that our RN shift change and CNA shift change are at different times. This way, there is always someone available to answer call lights (theoretically). We still struggle as a unit in the responsiveness category, but this is what I do, and I think it should help my patients. It’s my first week on the floor on my own out of orientation, so we’ll see, I guess!

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