How Do Nurse Call Systems Work?

Every healthcare institute and hospital includes a nurse call system that tends to emergencies and the needs of the patients. These systems allow the doctors and administration to keep in touch with the patients and the hospital altogether on a daily basis. From alerts to reminders, everything is shared through these systems to ensure that a hospital is providing the best healthcare services.

When it comes to choosing a nurse call system, there are several important factors that you need to consider other than the system itself. It is important as these systems are expensive and a hospital needs to have proper planning before installing them. Since it is an important part of any hospital or a healthcare institute, we are going to discuss how nurse call systems work.

Types of Nurse Call Systems


A basic¬†nurse¬†call system features nothing more than a button. When the button is pressed, an alert is sent to the nurse’s station. Since the alert could only be turned off from the patient’s bedside, the nurses are bound to tend to the patient.

Wireless nurse call

The advantage of installing a wireless nurse call system is that it includes fewer wires, which reduces the installation costs as well. However, a drawback you might call it is that wireless systems include batteries. Therefore, the staff has to monitor them regularly and replace them when required.


Intercom is an advanced nurse calling system. Through this system, the staff from the nurse’s station can directly contact the patient via intercom. This eliminates the need to walk over to the patient’s room. The staff can determine the needs of the patient and attend to it without having to leave other tasks unattended.

Cellphone Alerts

Cellphone alerts are the most commonly used nurse calling systems today. The devices are carried around by the staff and as an alert is received, the staffers can answer whenever wherever they are in the facility. Hence, improving both speed and efficiency.

Things to consider before buying a nurse call system

Evaluate Your Needs

The first step towards choosing the best nurse call system is evaluating the needs of your medical facility or hospital. For instance, a nurse call system for a hospital will differ from the one that is used in a senior living community. Furthermore, you will need to study the local regulations and the needs of your staff as well. If you are not sure about where to start, it is better if you consult the staff. This way the staff will share what they need and should be available at all times. As a result, you will have an insight into the situation, which will help you narrow down the options.

Explore Your Options

Once you have evaluated the needs of your facility, it is now time to explore your options. When it comes to choosing a nurse call system, know that there is a huge variety. Nurse call systems differ based on brands and technologies. When choosing a nurse call system, features such as pager and cellphone alerts, color-coded light indications, and multiple call tones, etc. should be considered.

In addition to that, you will also need to consider the software. Healthcare software solutions monitor the entire nurse call system and act as a communication bridge between the system and its users.

Establish Station Areas

Now that you have chosen a nurse call system for your facility, the design can start. You will need to establish areas where you will install the stations. Since every hospital is built differently, you will need to be careful when it comes to selecting station areas. You would want the patient stations to be located as near to the patients as possible whereas the nurse stations to be in the center. This way, the nurses will not stray too far while attending to some other business.

Plan Installation

Planning the installation is as important as establishing the station areas. While creating a plan, you will want to consider a company that has a good reputation in the field. Someone who has had the experience of installing multiple nurse call systems before. Not only will the installation be seamless but time-efficient as well. Otherwise, if you choose an inexperienced company to get the job done, not only will you be wasting time but money as well. Since every second in a hospital counts, therefore, processes need to be efficient both in terms of time and functionality.

Schedule Maintenance and Regular Testing

Once the nurse call system has been installed, the work does not end there. You need to schedule regular testing and maintenance. As mentioned earlier, nurse call systems need to be working 24/7 and that too efficiently. Therefore, the only way to ensure that it is always working at its optimum is by scheduling regular maintenance and testing. This way, if something is malfunctioning the facility is able to fix it beforehand.

Train and Support

A nurse call system will not be of any use if the staff is not trained for it. Training the staff and providing regular support is key to efficiently use a nurse call system. You will need to provide regular training so that the staff is updated with new technology. Make sure that the staff is not miscommunicated and is clear on important things. Moreover, be open to questions and answer them even if you have to repeat the process multiple times during the day. The reason being that every staff member needs to be on board and communicated equal knowledge and information across the facility so that they can help each other out if a complicated situation were to arise.

Final Word

Implementing a nurse call system in a facility is straightforward if you were to consider the steps mentioned above. More than the systems itself, it is the planning that is more important and crucial. Therefore, conduct a thorough analysis and choose a system that is the most suitable.

For more tips and recommendations, check out our Guide to Selecting an Emergency Nurse Call System.