Respectful Insolence

Before paging systems…

Given that my electronic leash is always with me and that ubiquitous pagers and cell phones make doctors reachable 24 hours a day, it’s amazing to contemplate a time when a PA system at a hospital was considered new and high tech:

i-292db91b8cbbf9cd4fa4434335fed853-lrg_hospital_loudspeakers.jpg

I especially like the part touting the volume control, as if that were some technological wonder that one wouldn’t expect on a P.A. system!

Personally, when I see such a system, I can’t help but think of the Three Stooges in Men In Black. Of course, when it comes to any paging system, be it a PA system or a pager, there are times when I feel like doing exactly what the Three Stooges did at the end of the short to the PA system that kept repeating, “Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard!”

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Comments

  1. #1 HCN
    July 8, 2007

    They still existed about 19 years ago when I was getting my first sonograms for pregnancy #1.

    The loudspeaker page that gave us the giggles were for a “Dr. Ballard”… especially since it was in Ballard Community Hospital:
    http://www.swedish.org/body.cfm?id=2052

    (not terribly far from where PZ Myers child was carded:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/07/our_friday_itinerary.php )

  2. #2 Tony P
    July 8, 2007

    Amazing how Western Electric had its fingers in everything back then.

  3. #3 AnnR
    July 8, 2007

    If only those blaring television sets in the waiting rooms would go away as well.

  4. #4 khan
    July 8, 2007

    What’s the date on that?

  5. #5 Orac
    July 8, 2007

    Click on the picture, and you’ll see. ;-)

  6. #6 Robert W. Donnell
    July 8, 2007

    For duty and humanity!

  7. #7 Joe
    July 8, 2007

    In the 1980′s I worked in an MR center where we still had a loudspeaker paging system. I knew I had to leave there when I was in a supermarket one day, an announcement came on the speaker, and I was straining to hear if it was addressed to me.

  8. #8 Alex
    July 9, 2007

    “Emergency! Emergency! Paging Dr. Blog!”

  9. #9 Pieter B
    July 9, 2007

    “Will the owner of the purple and green Chevrolet Impala please remove it from the doctors’ lounge”

    [/old "Ben Casey" parody skit]