Cell Phone Etiquette In A Business, What Is Your Policy?

We have been thinking of putting up a sign in our office with cell phone restrictions for our patients while they are in the office.  Is this right or not?

Let me explain to you what happened today and maybe you can help me decide…I still have a hard time believing it happened.

I took a patient back to the treatment room to prepared them for the doctor.  Iwas doing an intake on the patient’s condition, I was in mid-sentence when the patient (who is around 75 years-old) cell phone went off in a loud musical tune.  I was trying to speak to the patient and get the information that the doctor would need and expected, while the patient was fishing in their pocket for the cell phone.

Once they retrieved it…they raised their hand to stop me from speaking and said into the phone…”hello….Robert…Robert….Robert who?…Oh yes…..”  I waited a minute to see if he would hang up the phone from Robert, whom he apparently did not know very well, but he did not hang up.

I needed to move on to other patients and told him quietly that the doctor would be in soon, but he really did not pay attention and just waved his hand for me to leave.  I was stunned to say the least.  What if the situation was turned around and I or the doctor would have answered our cell phone while they were trying to talk to us about their problem, they would have been livid to say the least.  I started thinking about the fact that it was not too long ago that we did not even have cell phones, what did we do then?  We waited until we got home to take care of our calls.

So tomorrow I think I will put up a sign in each treatment room saying “Please turn your cell phone to silent or vibrate while in the office and only answer it if it is an emergency, thank you.”  While this was not the first time this has happened in the office, it was a gentle reminder to me to remember to do the same when I am in other places of business.

What type of polices do you have in your place of business regarding cell phone use?

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