Silent call bell system

“We will support care providers by encouraging positive changes that will actively raise the standard of care, each care provider is responsible for listening and acting upon concerns raised which benefits the care being provided. Nightingales Army is here to raise awareness about the concerns that are being expressed and unaddressed”

Here we provide you with a selection of tools and resources for yours staff and colleagues. We advise care providers to implement the best range of tools and resources for their team to gain better motivation and production.  Staff who are given the best equipment will use it to their ability and be proud of the work they achieve because of this.

The Importance of Silent Call Bells:

Extensive studies carried out in dementia care show that sufferers are extremely sensitive to their surroundings with several common environmental triggers. One of the most distinct contributors to high levels of stress and upset is noise. So, creating  an environment that is free of repetitive, high volume noise is essential if you are striving to create a calm and happy environment for your dementia residents.

A study published by the University of Stirling, found that call bell noise is one of the most common causes of stress to dementia patients, suggesting “fitting call alarms which alert nurses but do not resonate throughout the whole building. Alarms can be particularly disconcerting as they may encourage the person with dementia to respond or investigate the sound. At the very least the loss of sleep will compromise a person’s ability to concentrate. It can affect their attention levels and capacity to cope, as well as being detrimental to their overall state of well-being. Personal paging systems are preferable to bells and buzzers.”

Information gathered by insta care – Nightingales Army supports this 
In addition to the statement above, Nightingales Army would also like to add that the loud repetitive noise that comes from certain call bell systems is also detrimental to the service user and staff’s mental health. The pressure of having to hear this when on a medication round can contribute to medication errors, or wrong information being taken down when on the phone to other health professionals, the noise contributes to anxiety for both resident and staff. Listening to the same noise over and over again means staff become complacent with answering the bells, especially emergency bells, It’s a natural act for our brain to hear the noise but not respond to it when it is something constantly going off. Trying to deliver personal care or end of life care in this manner is highly unacceptable and does not mirror holistic person centered approach
If your home has a call bell system like the one we have used as an example please switch to silent mode, if you do not, then as a care provider you are failing your duty of care.

This recording is of a call bell system, it is a combined noise of a panel situated in a nurses station and of the pager that is carried by the care assistant that is required at all times.

We invite you to take a moment to reflect on how you would deliver a high standard of care in a personal space or record the correct information during a phone call or meeting whilst listening to this. Up to 12 hours a day but in some cases this may be 14+ depending on your companies policies.

Care assistants report they can still hear the call bell system and buzzers when they get home from work and even in their sleep. This impacts their sleep and in turn their mood and ability for their next shift or daily life. 

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Call bell systems

What type of call bell system does your company use?

Did you know there are a variety of call bell systems available to service users in a care setting or at home. These can be static call bells placed on the wall or hanging in bathrooms and high risk fall areas. And mobile call bells such as Pendants which hang around the neck or the wrist. 

Is it detrimental to residents and staff mental well-being?

The loud noise produced from these systems can cause anxiety and sensory overload for service users, especially those who live with dementia or PTSD this puts unnecessary pressure on the staff when delivering care as they are being harassed by the repetitive sounds lowering the standard of care provided. 

Effects on personal care at end of life – As care assistants the job is made harder when delivering any form of care to an individual when we are on the receiving end of a pager that harasses us constantly, this causes anxiety as we are made aware we are required in more than one place at one time. This can lead individuals to rush their care routine resulting errors and mistakes to happen and the care being delivered at a lower standard. This makes the experience for the individual receiving the care at times an unpleasant one, as they are also made aware via a continuous loud noise that we are needed in more than one place at one time. This is unfair to put  the residents and staff in this position.

Quote from resident to care assistant: “Please, please, please, throw that pager out of the window. I can’t bear to hear it anymore” 

Health professionals trying to take a phone call or discuss personal needs – Health care assistants and nurses answer phone calls daily from other professionals such as: Doctors, Physiotherapists, Speech and language, taking and booking appointments, speaking with friends and family. These conversations will generally be taken place in the nurses station or office, in some cases this can be interrupted by the constant noise of the call bell panel on the wall, or staff entering with pagers. Due to this mistakes start to happen, information is not taken down correctly and can be misunderstood. Nurses and care assistants can become anxious and rushed, this increases stress levels. This can cause complications when residents are needing to attend appointments at the hospital, which can be missed entirely or do not have the relevant transport which is suitable for the individuals needs or paperwork when they arrive. which in turn effects the NHS which is already under extreme pressure.

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Watch out:

You have a duty of care to provide your staff with a safe working environment. Outlined by the Health and safety work Act 1974:

(2)Without prejudice to the generality of an employer’s duty under the preceding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends include in particular—

(a)the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health;

Care Elderly Woman
Et call home. Tony Luciani Photograph. Subject to copyright

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