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Saturday, November 1, 2008

My beeber

So, how many of you fellow RTs have to carry a beeper? I bet most of you guys and gals do. Yet, when I worked at the Victorian Hospital up North from Shoreline, they had walkie talkies. I hated the walkie talkie system.

I hate wearing my beeper clipped to my pants. And that little clip that has the screen on it is usually scratched to the point that I can't read the beeper when it is on, so I usually take it off and toss my beeper into my pocket.

When my beeper goes off, I get annoyed. Don't you? Isn't it normal that a beeper annoys the person carrying it when it goes off -- especially when it goes off every 5 minutes all night.

Yep, I grunt and groan and curse that darn beeper. And then when I hear it going off and I can't find it in my pocket, and it keeps beeping and beeping and beeping, I curse some more.

Sometimes I turn off the beeper and turn on the vibrator. That's even worse. It's worse because if I have the beeper in my lab coat, and there's a bunch of stuff in the pocket with the beeper, I don't feel the vibrating. So then I get an angry call, "Where are you?"

I also get those calls when I forget my beeper in the office. It's a normal human thing to forget once in a while. Yet, a doctor once lectured me how it is "unacceptable" not to have my beeper on me.

Yet, still, I continue to forget from time to time.

Once, and only once, a coworker of mine went to the bathroom. When she came out she held the beeper in her hand. "It no longer works," she said. "It fell into the toilet."

"Cool," I said.

Then my beeper went off for the umpteenth time in two hours. I cursed audibly.

Yeah, I do have quite an equanimitous demeanor, but still that beeper annoys the crap out of me.

I often try to get rid of it. "Hey, Mr. Kokx when you go home why don't you take my beeper with you."

"Nope," he said, "I'm retired. I don't work anymore."

I suppose it will be the day I retire that I vow never to carry a beeper again and live up to that promise. Then again, I might still decide to work per deim.

Oh, the joys of a beeper. My advice to anyone seeking employment is to stay away from any career that forces you to wear a beeper.


my-rt-life said...

Haha, beepers. I remember when you weren't cool at all unless you had a beeper...this was before cell phones became huge. Everybody in school had one. Now we've come to curse them.

Ah, this is just one of the 'joys' I'm going to look forward to after graduation. Our facility stopped using beepers though and the RT's carry Spectralinks ( They only work within like a 1/4 mile radius of the hospital but it is a lot easier than waiting for a return call.

keepbreathing said...

Fear the spectralink. We carry those where I work, and while there are some advantages, I mostly hate them. A beeper you can ignore; a ringing phone you cannot.

my-rt-life said...

You're right. They always seem to ring during codes while the RT is doing compressions or bagging and all they want is something like IS education for their post-op patient. The disadvantage is that a pager will beep for, what, 10-15 seconds max, however, the spectralink will just ring and ring and ring during the code. I'm usually the one that reaches in the RT's pocket to answer the phone and tells the nurse they are in a code. lol

Glutton for Punishment said...

We use the Cisco phone

Color screen, polyphonic ringtones. Too bad there's no games installed on the thing!

We're actually gearing up for the phone to display ECG tracings, SPO2 tracings, etc. wirelessly. Very cool toy.

Glenna said...

I put my beeper on vibrate and carry it in my I never answer it but I'm happy when people page. :-)

RT Scribe said...

I had a job once, where I sometimes had to wear 5 pagers at the same time.

Damn it. I guess I'm gonna have to wear a pager again...

Marcus said...

you forgot to mention when a secretary pages you and you're in a room in that unit. I freaking hate that

Pathane Wadler said...

Well, I, for one, miss how my parents had a beeper. Back in the day, it was the quickest way to reach my parents (who shared just the one beeper despite working in separate cities). It gave my mom peace of mind knowing that we could reach her immediately for anything. That, of course, became the precursor to today’s text messaging. Still, it’s great to see that the humble beeper can still be very useful in this age of tablets and smartphones.

Cora Bullock said...

I think that irony of being needed most when you are extremely busy exists in all types of work. I have a lot of respect for everybody, who works in a hospital because they’ve got to be ready at all times of the day. Having a beeper definitely helps that, I think.

Rick Frea said...

I forgot about this old post. I bet there's a lot of RT departments going to cell phones, although not here yet. There is talk of it, though.