Calling the Shots: Nursing News and Notes

Smartphone Use on the Job

Smartphone Use on the Job

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Question: As an RN working in acute care, are you allowed to use your cell phone on the job?

According to a recent survey, 95% of nurses own a smartphone and 88% are using smartphone apps in their daily nursing work.

The microsurvey from Boston-based market research firm, InCrowd, found that nearly three-quarters (73%) of nurses admitted to looking up drug information on their phones, and 72% said they use apps to search for information about diseases.

Nurses reported using their phones for fast access to information across a range of daily tasks, from receiving patient photos of a rash to setting a timer for medication administration, according to InCrowd.

Instead of consulting with a physician or nurse manager, more than half (52%) of nurses surveyed said they used the phone to search, especially if a medication, illness, or symptom was unfamiliar.

Nearly a third (32%) of survey respondents said they used their smartphone instead of asking a physician in situations such as, "when I need quick answers without making a bunch of phone calls," or "so I can make an educated suggestion to the doctor."

So, is this a good idea or a bad idea?

Smartphones are ubiquitous these days, but many hospitals have policies against using personal devices on work time.

If nurses are using personal smartphones at work, what ramifications do you think this has for patient care?

If nurses need faster access to information, what is a better alternative?

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