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A Brief History of Nurse Call Systems

From hospitals to care homes, nurse call systems play an integral part in enhancing bespoke care for patients. As with many other aspects of life, the efficiency of nurse call systems today is thanks to developments in technology, bringing them leaps and bounds from what they used to be.


With that said, let us look back on their origin and how they’ve evolved over the years to what we know and use today. Read on below to learn more.


1850s - Bells


The origins of the nurse call system can be traced back to the 1850s, and are thanks to the intuitiveness of Florence Nightingale - praised for being the considered founder of modern nursing. She put into place a care bell system, in which a handheld bell was placed at patients’ bedsides after she realised that patients needed a way to ring for nurses when they needed assistance.


She based the idea of giving patients a bell on how the wealthy would ring a bell to call for servants in affluent homes, concluding that a similar concept would be efficient for nurses and patients.


1980s - Central Processor Units


By the 1980s, more patients had private rooms within a ward rather than beds in the same space. As such, central processor units were used to create a nurse call system that used a light and sound notification. This meant that whenever a patient pressed the call button, a light would illuminate above their door so nurses could see which patient was in need of assistance.


They would also be able to use a two way audio system in order to communicate with the patient, allowing them to determine what was wrong and whether it was an emergency before rushing to their bedside.


Modern Day - Versatile Systems


Today, we use advanced nurse call systems that can manage with the fast pace and large size of modern hospitals whilst enhancing patient safety and communication between patients and nurses. Similar to older systems, the patient will still press a nurse call button, which will then signal an alert at the nurse’s station, who will then respond to the call.


The great thing about modern systems is that they use wireless technology, so that the patient can alert the nurse no matter where they may be in the hospital. These systems can even be tailored to choose who the call goes out to, for example it may go to a different nurse depending on who’s on the day shift and who’s on the night shift.

Data can also be tracked and analysed, such as call logging to learn who is using the system the most and why (which could then help to reduce alarm fatigue).


EK Fire Protection


From disabled toilet pull cord alarms to bedside systems with multiple call levels, here at EK Fire Protection we can create a solution that’s suitable for every type of care environment.


Whether you run a private or public healthcare establishment, get in touch with us today if you require the professional installation of a care call system in the South East.


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