Platte Valley, as we know, is committed to a higher level of patient care. This includes a commitment to answering every patient call light as soon as possible, even when it requires collaboration between clinical and non-clinical staff to make sure no call light goes unanswered.
When the patient is admitted to the unit, the admitting or primary nurse should familiarize the patient with their room, including the use of the phone and call light. Make sure to have the patient “teach back” call light and phone use to be sure they understand. Place the call light and phone within the patient’s safe reach.
At the beginning of a shift, nursing staff must document on the patient’s white board, the name of the primary nurse and nursing assistant, and their respective phone numbers within 30 minutes of start of shift.
When patients call light goes on, any staff member (e.g. RN, CNA, Secretary, Case Manager, Housekeeping, Lab Tech, ect.) in the vicinity should enter the room and ask the patient what they need. We do not want patients to wait longer than 2 minutes for their call light to be answered.
Ancillary staff are not expected to enter isolation rooms – communication from the doorway is acceptable.
If you are a non-clinical associate and the patient needs care that is not within your skills to provide, immediately contact the primary nurse or charge nurse in person or by phone.
Next, make sure to inform the patient that their nurse/nursing assistant has been contacted and will assist them as soon as possible. Finally, make sure to cancel the call light in the patient’s room.
If the patient needs care that you can provide, cancel the call light and assist the patient with their need.
If you see a call light on, you CAN do the following for a patient:
- Reposition call light, telephone, bedside table, chairs, trash can, tissues or other personal items within reach.
- Assist with making phone calls or answering the telephone.
- Change TV channels or turn the TV on or off.
- Turn lights on or off.
- Obtain personal items such as blanket, pillow, towel, washcloth, slippers, and toiletries.
- Obtain other items such as pens, pencils, books, magazines, etc.
- Open and/or close privacy curtains.
- Reduce clutter.
- If the call light is for an isolation room and you have not been trained in appropriate PPE, communicate from the door that you are getting them assistance
Only Nursing Staff Can:
- Manage an IV and/or infusion pump
- Offer pain relief
- Remove meal trays or water pitchers
- Assist patients with eating and drinking
- Physically assist a patient
- Turn off any alarms
- Explain clinical matters/treatments as appropriate to your discipline
- Raise or lower a patient bed
This script can help you ease the patient’s mind if you CANNOT assist:
“Let me find the appropriate person to help you. I will let you know how long it will take.”