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cell phones w/ pts and usage.........

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by hello07, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. hello07

    10+ Year Member

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    Yesterday while I was examining a pt during the subjective, their cell rings and being polite I ask them do you want to answer it and they said yeah. Removed the phoropter infront of their face and tey spoke for little over a minute. Not even apologizing-soory doc, so I continued and everything ended well. Few years back, working in a private practice I had a man in his 50's while I was about to do slit lamp he gets a call from his broker and he said to me excuse me I gotta take this. So I said sure go ahead. The guy spoke for 10 minutes about his trading activity stocks n his portfolio-high roller. Luckily, i didn't have anyone waiting. Went thru exam and ended well w a big sale.
    How do you deal w the people that answer cells that come across so disrespectful towards you? I honestly do not know how to handle it. I thought of walking out of exam room n coming back but perhaps thats unprofessional? any suggestions ?
     
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  3. JMU07

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    The patients at my school do this ALL THE TIME. It's infuriating. I had one peds patient last week whose mom was sitting in the corner of my room, on her cell phone talking about "oh I'm not LETTING him cheat! He's just playin' the game!" and crap like that. I turned around after a minute or two and finally said "Ma'am, you need to go out into the lobby if this is going to be a while." She gave me a nasty look and said "Am I BOTHERING you or something??" People just have no idea. There's only so much I can say as a student, but as a doc I'll have no problems telling people to leave my room if they plan on having a full-blown conversation on their phones. It's rude and inappropriate, not to mention a waste of chair time.
     
  4. Shnurek

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    Well if you have no one waiting then there is no reason not to be courteous and let them do their thing. Like you said it ended with a big sale. Do you think this had something to do with you letting them use their cell phone to take an important call? I'd probably leave the room though and do another task and just say, "call me over when you are done" in a friendly non-demanding tone.
     
  5. Meibomian SxN

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    I agree. This is exactly what I do. Typically I start notating things in the chart to speed things up (ie Patient refused dilation against doctors orders, etc etc).

    I have a friend who when patients start talking on their phone, she checks her Facebook & Twitter simultaneously.:laugh:

    This is the world we live in....
     
  6. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
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    This is one of those things that it's best to not get worked up over, annoying as it may be.

    Think about it this way......

    What percentage of patients actually have their cell phones go off during an exam? 1%? 2%?

    Of those, nearly all of them are embarassed and quickly shut them off or meekly apologize and just let it ring.

    The 1% of annoying ones will be annoying about something else, if not the cell phone.

    So we're talking about 1-2% of 1-2% of patients. Just let it go.
     
  7. 4Eyes

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    Yeah, it was more frustrating in school when patients seemed to talk longer and we were being timed. Now, it happens occasionally, but very rarely. Most pts let it ring. A few answer. Of those who answer, many say things like, "I'm sorry, I think that's my ride," or "Is it okay if I take this? My daughter's baby is due any day now." I think more than taking phone calls, it's annoying when patients try to send text messages any time you pause to jot something down or switch from phoropter to slit lamp.

    I have a colleague who has a sign outside his office door asking people to silence their phones. I have joked that I will get a sign that says anyone answering their phone during the exam will be repeatedly air puffed. ;-)
     
  8. Ryan_eyeball

    Ryan_eyeball Senior Member
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    I really don't mind if the cell phone goes off, but I don't appreciate it when people will not silence it after the first time. Also the ring tones some have assigned to people is obnoxious. I would rather just stick with a simple ring.
     
  9. imemily

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    Invest in a cell phone scrambler.....I can just imagine the look on the patients face when they leave the exam room and see 50 txt messages/missed calls, lol!
     
  10. Tippytoe

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    Ah.....you do know that cell phone scramblers are illegal in the U.S. and most other parts of the world.
     
  11. Shnurek

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    Yes, but the FCC has never charged people that use them. Look it up. I just looked it up because I was curious but I don't think its that big of a deal to really get one. Plus there are some that don't block emergency calls or just block outgoing calls and all incoming calls go to voicemail. This latter method is a loophole in the law as the cellphone isn't strictly being scrambled.
     
  12. Tippytoe

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    Yea, who really cares about the law anyhow? Good quality future doc we have here.

    Remember to never cry foul when your future patients get their contact lenses from a beauty shop or flea market. And their glasses from an on-line basement store without an Rx. And their red eye meds without an Rx from a guy on the street corner. Also don't complain when your employee steals money from you. Because after all, it's just the law. It doesn't really matter.

    You'll fit in great in the future optometry world. Your corporate optical manager will be just as ethical as you. Go get 'em tiger.
     
  13. Shnurek

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    Speculation does not entail action. I'm just pointing out facts.
     
  14. 20DOC20

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    Did you know that cell phone signals interfere with the performance of the newer autorefractors? It's true. Says so in the manual!

    So, you post a BIG SIGN that says "The use of cell phones in this office is prohibited because the signals interfere with our sensitive electronic instruments and could negatively affect the outcome of our eye exams. We apologize for the inconvenience."

    Another option is to have them read and sign an "OFFICE NOTICES" sheet along with their check-in paperwork. You can say, "Eye exams require a great deal of concentration for our patients. The doctor welcomes observers in the exam room, but we ask that you remain as quiet as possible during the course of the exam to prevent distracting the patient. For this reason, cell phone use is prohibited in the doctor's room. We apologize for any inconvenience."

    Better yet, you do both!

    I guess I'm the rude one here. I'll flat-out ask the patient to please turn off the cell phone or place it in the silent mode if they get a call and if an observer is chatting on their phone, I'll say, "I'm sorry. I can't do this eye exam with you chatting on your phone. Could you please take it outside?"

    And you know what? They do as I ask. No questions ask. And if they argue with me, I tell them that I can't multitask and no they can't text or chat with their stock broker during the refraction ... because they might get the wrong eyeglass Rx.

    You tell them that and they understand. :smuggrin:
     

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