“Can you have your phone in rehab?” is a frequently asked question. A phone is often thought to be one of the luxuries of modern life, but what does it mean to “have your phone in rehab?” And how does a “cell phone” find its way back into the rehabilitation setting?
Rehabilitation centers and many hospitals are now realizing the tremendous benefits of using cell phones for calling patients and doctors and nurses. Cell phones offer the facility to “talk” directly to the patients and their family members. It is also useful for keeping in touch with medical staff during in-house events and other times when “off-site” communication may be difficult. Using a phone, many patients and their families can quickly connect to each other when either there is a medical emergency or a doctor’s visit and when regular hours of operation and clinic hours are inconvenient.
The convenience of cellular phones helps in so many ways that rehabilitation programs are recognizing the need to use them. In fact, many rehab facilities are now equipped with telephones. However, not all rehab facilities have been made ready for the use of cell phones by the general public. Some rehab facilities have decided that cell phones should be prohibited altogether and that any who try to get access to them would be considered a threat to the rehabilitation program. This is a tricky situation, since there are so many who would benefit from using a phone.
There are those who argue against the use of phones in rehab because of privacy issues. However, there are so many benefits to having a phone, especially if someone has been through a traumatic experience and needs to talk to loved ones. When a person relives their memories of a painful time, they often speak about those memories with co-workers, therapists, and doctors. Many of these individuals would never have another opportunity to speak to anyone without first thinking about how their voice sounds when they talk. A phone can help facilitate those feelings, keeping those individuals in touch and helping to validate those memories.
For many people, a cell phone can also be a safety device, especially when driving. Most teenagers would not think twice about pulling over and using the phone to call their friends. Also, many drivers can make a pit stop and use the phone while driving to make sure that they get directions to their destination. Those in rehab can use their phones during their recovery period to contact their family and give them a heads up as to where they are and what they need to do.
If one is thinking about staying in an inpatient rehab facility, a phone is very important. Patients need to have easy access to a phone at all times. If that phone is in the same room as the bed they sleep on, it can be tempting to put it away but it is crucial that it still can be used. It can be difficult to find a phone in a strange room, so it helps to have something readily available.
As technology advances, many phones are becoming smaller and easier to fit into a small area. Although many smaller phones are battery operated, there are now smart phones with GPS, Bluetooth, and other features. These phones make it easier for someone in rehab to stay in touch and they can quickly enter and exit a rehab facility. A smart phone can become a substitute for a smaller radio or television. The options are endless as to what a person in recovery can use to keep their mind occupied and their body productive.
So, can you have your phone in rehab? There are many reasons why a person in recovery would want to keep a cell phone. It can be very distracting to try to drive after being interrupted by a phone call. It can provide a way for loved ones to communicate while a loved one is in rehab and can help with keeping jobs.