Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Little Black Box

I hate my pager.

Only a few days into my job, and this little black box of doom controls my life. It stops me buying the sandwich that I've rushed down 5 flights of stairs for. It stops me talking to patients, because if I quieten it for a moment to finish my sentence the impatient person at the other end just pages me again. And it seems to know when I'm on my way to the toilet.

As an implement of mental torture, nothing else comes close. At least your time was your own on the rack.

And you can't screen out the inane calls, because the only message you get is an unidentified number. Some of the calls are surprisingly revealing about the person at the other end - i.e. they're obviously blind, illiterate or just lazy.

I'm tempted to turn the damn thing off, at least when I need the toilet. But I have a feeling the pager is stronger than I am. And it probably has more friends in the hospital than I do - it's like any other office nemesis, except that it has about 3000 identical twins on its side who work in the same building.

So, for the moment at least, I'm putting any hope of normal bladder function to one side, and heading for a phone.


The two weeks on a trolley team said...

Mate, wait til you start on nights. Just wait for the pager action to begin!!! You'll be paged to prescribe sleeping pills for people who are already asleep. You'll be paged by people who "just want to be able to say I told you" when somebody's heart rate goes up by 5 beats on a set of obs. When I was a JHO I sometimes carried my little "Mr.T voicebox" with me. It's a little machine that shouts "shut up crazy foool!" when you press the button. I'd always wanted to answer the phone with it, but never risked my GMC registration.

Good luck with it anyway, and great blog.
From a fellow newbie to the blogosphere.

Dr. Thunder

HospitalPhoenix said...

It's hideous, I agree. It's as though the person at the other end thinks you're lounging about somewhere (next to a telephone), waiting for the next bleep. They don't realise that you're usually pretty damn busy, or not within 10 seconds of a phone.

Our ST1 was asking my advice about a referral yesterday, and we were discussing the options and deciding what she should do. During our discussion she was bleeped. Less than 5 minutes later the doctors room phone rang, and it was the person who'd bleeped her, asking where she was and why she 'wasn't answering her bleep.'


House Plant said...

One of my friends managed to drop his bleep down the toilet but instead of fishing it out, decided to flush it! Which lead to the ICU toilets flooding and sewage leaking through the floor down into the canteen...

And it used to really piss me off when I'd get bleeped at 2am to write TTOs for the patients who were going home in 3 days time. Hello, that's what the day team are for!