Short answer, it depends on the hospital and ward you are based on. As tech gets more portable, its encountered everywhere including the wards, as health professionals use them to access information or keep in touch. There are some do’s and don’ts here are some of ours.
Be up front about using tech
Most of what gets you in trouble for using tech on the wards is communication, or lack of it. If you want to use your phone/tablet on the ward with doctors or a patient, explain to them what you want to do and ask permission. Everyone has different views but by being up front its means they are less likely to think you are playing angry birds or texting mates.
Its all about the situation
Think about whether it is actually appropriate to whip out your device. If you are speaking to a patient you should be engaging and concentrating on them, not your screen. The same principle holds true with using computers in a consultation. But if for example its on the ward round, its less likely to directly offend those around you as long as they are clear what you are up to.
Infection risk…your tech is an infection risk.
We use our tech all the time, so its bound to be less than clean – fine on a day to day basis. But in the context of someone who is unwell, immunocompromised or infectious its a different ball game. So think before you take it out.
Is it really going to help?
Your idevice or tech is probably surgically attached to your hand, but are you using it to help or just carrying it around? You would be surprised how many people end up walking around with their phones out for no real reason…
If someone found my phone would I get in trouble?
A good question to ask yourself particularly if you take notes on your device. Always have a code/keep the device locked – application specific passwords are also a good plan. Handling confidential information on the wards happens, but using it appropriately is something that must be honoured – it really wouldn’t be a good thing to be hauled up on.