The History of Nurse Call

The history of nurse call.

Nurse call systems are interwoven into the fabric of our lives. Nearly unnoticeable, the nurse call is everywhere throughout the hospital as well as in popular culture. But what is the history of nurse call and what is its role as the healthcare industry grows?

The History of Nurse Call

The Nurse call system was born in times of war. In this way, it is not all that different from many advances in medicine. It was the Crimean War of the 1850s where Florence Nightingale’s innovation in the art of nursing is the stuff of legend. For example, the ring of the patient’s bedside handbell in times of need. “Without a system of this kind, a nurse is converted to a pair of legs,” Nightingale famously said. Consider the previous scenario to be the original analog nurse call system. Low-tech in conception, but it is efficient and reliable. It is the cornerstone for the most advanced systems today.

Movies & TV

Who can forget the gray, empty hospital corridors in “The Godfather” as Vito Corleone lay helpless? Set mid-20th century, the 1972 movie classic has many messages. However, one can’t help but notice the inadequate nurse communication in that grim place. Good thing Michael came by when he did!

The 1970s witnessed the flourishing of hospital soap operas. Often a medical facility was at the heart of the drama, including, “The Doctors”, “General Hospital,” and “Days of Our Lives.” The complicated lives of unusually attractive practitioners drove plotlines.  However, these stories were peppered with intercom calls and page tones to signal action. Were they really all that different from Florence Nightingale’s bell?

Medical dramas graduated to primetime in the following decades with “St. Elsewhere” in the 1980s, “E.R” in the 1990s, and the shows “House” and “Grey’s Anatomy” ushered in the 21st Century. Art imitates life, and in doing so reflects the emergence of the nurse call communication technology.

The Reality of Nurse Call

It’s a different ballgame when it is you or a loved one who is in the care facility. All the more true for medical staff and healthcare managers who rely on these systems for reliable operation. That’s where Intercall Systems come in. For half a century, Intercall has largely written the script.

Intercall Systems is a family-owned business in Long Island, New York, and an American success story. All of our manufacturing is in the USA. The design and engineering of nurse call systems are what we do—all we do.

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