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Pager Question

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OK I have to vent a little....I'm post call and want to sleep at some point during my residency or go on a date without the damn thing going off (usualy for pharmacy tyoe calls too) before I'm driven mad....


Well, today I get reamed out for not answering my pager while trying to catch some sleep after my 30 hr call....

how many of you carry your pager with you at all times and when is it appropriate to turn the damn thing off when your not on call?
 
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Winged Scapula

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I turned my off as a junior resident but it was always on as a senior and Chief resident (which was required by my program).

Some programs expect that you always leave it on; see what is the culture at your program. I agree its ridiculous to have post-call interns or junior residents answer pages.
 
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Winged Scapula

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Is there any way of transferring pages to a phone, or getting a pager with louder ringtone? Has anybody done this?

I used to transfer my pages to my cell/home phone that way my SO was not disturbed by the trauma pages that went off (that I didn't have to respond to but the pager was programmed to receive) at night.
 
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maxheadroom

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You need to get your program to switch to having a team pager. Whoever is on-call carries it and all the nursing units are instructed to ONLY call the team pager with questions about patients/orders/special requests, etc. That way the nurses know that attending X's patients are covered by the residents from team A and there is only one number that they ever need to know. It works pretty well, but the caveat is that you have to do a face-to-face pager hand-off if your hospital doesn't allow pages to be forwarded to a different pager.
 
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Winged Scapula

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We went to a team pager system and it worked pretty well but you would still routinely get people who would go through the operator and ask them to page "Dr X" because you had written an order or where the last person to write a note, regardless of whether you were still on service, were cross-covering or were home post-call.

We also went to a physical hand-off of the pagers when it was determined that the residents could not be trusted to transfer the pages correctly.
 
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maxheadroom

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We went to a team pager system and it worked pretty well but you would still routinely get people who would go through the operator and ask them to page "Dr X" because you had written an order or where the last person to write a note, regardless of whether you were still on service, were cross-covering or were home post-call.

We also went to a physical hand-off of the pagers when it was determined that the residents could not be trusted to transfer the pages correctly.

Yeah, we had a problem with nurses wanting to talk to the person who wrote the order or the note, but we addressed it two ways. First, at our place you have to sign an order with your pager number in addition to your name -- we just stopped putting our personal pager numbers and used the team pager instead. Second, there was a pretty big PR push to inform all of the nursing floors and paging operators that if they wanted to talk to the resident for team A, they had to use the team pager. It took a while, but once it became ingrained it's been great.
 
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maxheadroom

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The General Surgery PD (at the time) was a HUGE resident advocate and he made a big point finding ways to make the system work better. If there's only one pager for the nurses to ever use, it makes it easier for them to find the person who can answer their questions. They get to find the right person more quickly and the non-on-call people don't get bothered with floor issues and consults. It just makes sense.
 
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maverick_pkg

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I used to transfer my pages to my cell/home phone that way my SO was not disturbed by the trauma pages that went off (that I didn't have to respond to but the pager was programmed to receive) at night.

How does one do that? Ask the hospital people or the pager company people or is there like a software/hardware?
 
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Winged Scapula

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How does one do that? Ask the hospital people or the pager company people or is there like a software/hardware?

Our pagers had multiple options for messaging.

You could transfer all pages to any landline or cell phone you wished. You could change the message to say you are in the OR and unavailable, you are on vacation until X date and unavailable, you are on pager and available, etc.

I would check with the supplier of the pager to see if you have this option.
 
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surg

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We had a similar system in my residency. I could sign it out to another pager (it automatically pages that person with the same page), set it to a message (i.e. "I'm not on call, please page pager #X for patient questions," that way people who still wanted to reach me directly could still page through), or forward it to a phone # directly. I miss those days. Where I am now only let's me change the message, so I still find people paging me when I am out of town and can't get my pages easily.

As to the OP's question, in all my years of residency and fellowship (and even now), my pager has never been further away than 1 room, except when I am physically out of pager range (travelling to another state). I always figured if someone was desperate enough to page me even when I wasn't on call, it's usually for a good reason. Although it wasn't true, I guess it plays into my egomania that I am important to my patients!
 
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Celiac Plexus

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OK I have to vent a little....I'm post call and want to sleep at some point during my residency or go on a date without the damn thing going off (usualy for pharmacy tyoe calls too) before I'm driven mad....


Well, today I get reamed out for not answering my pager while trying to catch some sleep after my 30 hr call....

how many of you carry your pager with you at all times and when is it appropriate to turn the damn thing off when your not on call?

I think that expecting you to return your pages when you are off after call is unreasonable in this day and age of the 80 hour work week. I believe the acgme stipulates that you are to have 8-10 hours off after a 30 hour work period during which you have no clinical responsibilities. Sleep is not optional, and at some point you will need some. Because someone is thoughtless enough to page you under these circumstances is not reason for you to get "reamed".

That said, it really depends on the culture of your team/institution. A good rule is to return every page you get as fast as possible. Now, if you are asleep and you are not on duty then you will not be answering your pages...reasonably. However if you are one of those folks who leaves the hospital and immediately begins ignoring pages just because their "shift" is over, then you will earn a rep as a shift worker that is available on a limited basis. I would not want that kind of reputation.
 
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opr8n

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when i am on a home call sevice, i have to leave my pager on
Most other times, when i go home post cal, theri is always another resident in house to cover the pts, so i expect the nurses to be able to read the call schedule and page the right people, so i turn my pager off till the next morning when i walk into the hospital
Sometimes i just leave the damnn thing in my locker
 
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