Call Lights, Tired Nurse, Ill Patient

Thursday, November 05, 2015 0 Comments A + a -

We nurses, sometimes have one or two patients calling us with their call lights repeatedly, sometimes even before we leave the room.

Not again, we think.

Why do "frequent callers" call so often? 

A lot of times I find that deep down, they are afraid to be alone. As nurses, we should try to make our patients as comfortable as possible.

A nurse

Exhausted, Annoyed

Answering, running, serving

Tired from answering repeatedly



An inpatient

Indignant, impatient

Calling, asking, needing

Afraid to be alone


How to Reduce Call Light Use

  1. One way to reduce the call light issue is with hourly rounds. This may be easy to do in intensive care unit with two patients, but with more patients, it can be a challenge. Anyway, the benefits of hourly rounds is evidenced-based according to a post in Medscape
  2. A list of what a staff can do or check for during these rounds can be simplified into these four P's-- pain, positioning, personal needs (using the restroom) and placement of necessities (call light, phone, TV, tissue, water). 
The patients knowing that a staff will come back in an hour to check on them may resolve some of the issues of frequent call light use. In addition, this hourly rounding will also help those quiet patients who would not call otherwise thinking they will bother the staff. 

Do you have other ideas?

I would love to read your comments.