Laptop use in a hospital room

After looking at an earlier thread about the use (or not) of cell phones in a hospital, it reminded me of something I had been wondering about.

If I had to spend some time in the hospital, and was placed in a regular room (not ICU), I could pass the time pretty well if I had a laptop computer to write on, watch movies, play games, etc. I wouldn’t need internet access, but just standard use.

Is the use of laptop computers allowed in regular hospital rooms? Is any kind of internet service available or allowed?

I used my laptop extensively when I was on hospital bedrest during my pregnancy. No wireless, but I could plug it into the phone for dialup access.

My home hospital for years, and many others now, have a public WiFi network. It is very simple to do and becoming more common. We used Cisco equipment to separate off a wireless VLAN for visitors so that we could keep visitors and patients connected on their own devices without interfering with our clinical wireless networks. I travel to hospitals for a living now and have noticed that it is increasingly common for hospitals to provide this sort of hotspot, most commonly free of charge.

We not only allow cell phones as well , but put cell phone antennas inside the hospital.

Both cellular and WiFi coverage are available in every area of the hospital.

Curiously, I am typing this from a hospital room right now. I disconnect the phone, plug in the computer and get dial-up access. Bloody slow, but it works.

I also work in a hospital where a public wi-fi us available. It still goes through our filter so you can’t get to adult themed websites, but it’s better than a poke in the eye with a stick.

When I was admitted to the hospital for a seizure study, I brought along my laptop. I watched DVD’s, wrote, played games, and generally kept myself entertained as my every activity was recorded.

Disturbing however was having the nurses ask from their watchroom(wherever that was), “what are you watching now?” They were clearly as bored as I was.


The hospital I work at alows laptop use after the plug has been checked (for fraying and such) IN THEORY. IRL, people just use their cellphones, chargers, laptops and nobody much minds.
Cyn, RN

I’ve spent way too much time in hospitals and they have always let me use my laptop while I was in.

Another one chiming in with “I was allowed to use one”. The biggest annoyance was that to surf / read email, I had to disconnect the cord from the phone in the room which meant that I couldn’t receive phone calls (shoulda had my cell phone :D).

And of course it led to one of our household’s great stories. I like to tell people I’m so hooked on the internet that I was doing email while being prepped for emergency surgery. They laugh. I look 'em in the face and say “I’m not joking”. And I’m not. I was waiting for everything to come together for Moon Unit to be delivered via c-section, when it became clear that my pre-eclampsia/HELLP was peaking and had to be dealt with NOW. I booted up the laptop to keep from climbing the walls while waiting. The nurse came in to do my IV. I started to put away the laptop. She said “No need”. So I stuck out my left arm for her to get the IV started, while reading email using my right hand. It distracted me nicely and probably made the nurse’s job easier.

Just got my first laptop a month ago and I’m due for surgery next month. Last year I was in for 3 months and bored out of my mind. I’ve already spent a week in a chinese hospital this year with only dull daytime soaps in mandarin to pass the time. It never occurred to me I could rent some films to watch. Thank you Dopers!