Skip to main content

Table 1 Classification of call reasons with definitions and examples

From: Patient severity matters for night-shift workload for internal medicine residents in Taiwan

Call reason category



Abnormal vital signs

Abnormal blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, oxygen saturation, or consciousness



Fever or hypothermia

Original symptom/problem

An existing symptom or problem which has been handed over from the previous shift

Cancer pain breakthrough

Ileus with refractory vomiting

New-onset symptom/problem

A new symptom or problem that was not noticed in the previous shift

Chest pain

Shortness of breath


Need for physician’s evaluation, prescription, or procedure

Events that nurses think the physician should evaluate, prescribing orders, or performing medical procedures


Difficulty in sleeping

Foley obstruction

Need for explanation or communication

Situations in which the nurses think the physician should answer questions or say something to the patients or relatives

Refusing protective constraints

Refusing treatment advice

Angry patient or relative


The physician should be informed but no need for direct evaluation

Falling without obvious injury