I have a question about cell phone usage on the acute ward!
How do other wards cope with cell phone and laptop use?
We mostly have a ban on cell phones, although patients can use them in a couple of phone booths on the ward. Routinely we have people's cell phones stored in our medication room and give them out as people require them. They remain with the staff team overnight.
In the past few years we have had a couple of incidents when a patient has filmed the ward and uploaded this to facebook.
Laptops are treated in a similar way to cell phones, although sometimes there are exceptions for students needing to continue their study whilst on the ward.
We are in the process of developing a more 'yes-focussed policy', rather than a 'no-focussed policy'
Steve Paddock, CNS Ward 9c Acute Adult Inpatient, Dunedin, New Zealand
I guess such items are regarded by most folk as pretty indispensable items and taking away such things is a significant infringement of liberty so I would suggest you look at what your mental health legislation says. Certainly in England we have a code of practice with our mental health act which would regard routinely removing such items as overly restrictive in an acute setting. Dealing with infringements on dignity of other patients and of staff (by photographing or video recording) would be important but on a case by case basis and individually care planning the removal of such items where there has been abuse or risk related activity would be sensible. I guess it needs to be proportionate. You need hospital policy and to consider how other hospitals manage such (antisocial) behaviour as well as a way to get uploaded files removed ASAP. From a safewards perspective I'd look at 'clear mutual expectations' the 'mutual help meeting'.
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