Doctors Want Their Mobile Phones

from the please,-please-let-us-connect dept

There have been some questions lately on why exactly hospitals ban mobile phones. The common reasoning, of course, is that the phones may interfere with medical equipment — but most medical equipment is pretty well shielded, and there are lots of other items, such as emergency service radios that would seem likely to cause a lot more interference, but don’t. So, now, many doctors in the UK are standing up and saying the ban on mobile phones should be dropped. They point out that risks are minimal, and it would make their lives much easier. They also point out (probably quite accurately) that they’re positive plenty of people are wandering around hospitals all the time with mobile phones turned on in their pockets, and they don’t see why they should be banned. Of course, there are other reasons for keeping mobile phones away from doctors — such as the fact that they can pick up germs. Good thing there’s now a sterilizing phone charger.

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Comments on “Doctors Want Their Mobile Phones”

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Anonymous Coward says:


My sister-in-law kept her cell phone on the entire time she was in the hospital for the birth of my niece. She kept it on vibrate so no one would be the wiser.

I would think the ability of a Dr. to have a cell phone available would be an important communication tool and damn near a necessity. I don’t blame Dr.’s for fighting to use this technology in their work.

No one ever seems to be able to prove these interference claims.

dorpus says:

Blood pressure and stress

Today, I heard presentations on interesting experiments done in the USA to measure the connection between blood pressure and stress — they gave patients difficult math problems, and purposefully gave them wrong answers to make their blood pressure rise. They also gave them difficult video games which they kept losing at. Or in another one, they made patients dip their hand in ice water for 10 minutes.

Some patients’ blood pressures go up just at the sight of a doctor, known as “white coat hypertension”; while other hypertensive patients will lower their blood pressure just by coming into the hospital.

Could we design a new experiment where patients have to endure a really obnoxious cell phone chime going off next to them, followed by the recipient yelling into the phone in a foreign language?

Nate says:

No Subject Given

When my daughter was born in February, I had my cellphone on the entire time. The transition nurse even told me that it would be a good time to call the family with the news while she was doing the baby cleaning since I would have a couple of minutes. There was no issue with cellphones in that Hospital at all (Chandler, Arizona – outside Pheonix). I didn’t even give it a second thought.

dorpus says:

Re: No Subject Given

Next time you have a baby, you might want to make sure they clamp the umbilical cord shut before flushing it out with benzyl alcohol. The umbilical cord is like a little vacuum pump, so if the nurse is drunk or high, she might forget to clamp the cord before dipping it in antiseptic, and you’ll have a baby pumped full of antiseptic.

JJ says:

Germ-ridden phones and ties

No cell phones? And no ties? Why stop there?

Everything the doctor wears has germs, right? My Ivy League educated doc dresses to the nines – navy pinstriped suit (maybe $2,000?), mirror-shined shoes that must go for 6 or 7 hundred, and of course the designer silk tie. Next time I see him, I’ll demand that he step out of the tasseled Italian loafers and the Brooks Brothers socks, (germs, you know!) and hand over his tie – and the monogrammed cufflinks (you just don’t know WHERE they’ve been!) and of course, the cell phone. Then, when he’s barefoot and tieless, I’ll allow him to proceed.

I MIGHT allow him to keep the fancy business suit – but I MAY threaten a lawsuit….if he doesn’t swap the tailored Armani for a hosptal gown. Now THAT is germ-free!

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