Recall using your cellphone when you were at the hospital, as a patient or visiting, how is the.....

How is the reception?

Did you get any reception at all? And if you do, is the call quality acceptable?

Please chime in. If the service is poor, why do you think the signal is so weak? Is it the walls? The type of building material?

Just got out of the hospital a month ago, and the reception is just as good as anywhere else.

The wifi isn’t as great, but it’s adequate. Once in a while it just wouldn’t let me load anything, so I’d have to get off and use cellular data on my iPad, but I’d get on fifteen minutes later or so and be fine.

Probably it’s the hospital equipment interfering with your cellphone signal. See if you can get the charge nurse to shut off the cardiac monitors and respirators.

*Our hospital used to prohibit cellphones in patient care areas. Now they just ask visitors to shut off their cellphones within three feet of patient care equipment. Not sure if that’s vigorously enforced.

Cell phone reception in hospitals is typically awful. Especially don’t expect good reception in or near the radiology department, where the walls and floors may be reinforced and shielded for the needs of the heavy, high-powered Xray and MRI equipment.

Long ago, I used to carry an AT&T phone and a T-Mobile phone. I had service from T-MO in the waiting room at the hospital, but not on my AT&T phone.
More recently, I only carry an AT&T phone, but it gets good reception at the same waiting room.

The doctors get the shift cell-phone when they come on shift. The give it to the next doctor when they go off shift.

Reception is good enough that they gave up on pagers years ago.

(Australia, 3G GSM)

There was a time when the use of mobile phones was barred in hospitals on the grounds that they could interfere in some way with equipment.

My reception has been fine when I have been at the nearby hospital, both as a patient and as a non-patient. Thinking about it though, I probably haven’t used my cell phone in any areas that would have a strong likelihood to block it (either actually stopping the signal outright, or interference from equipment).

Just spent 3 days in hospital myself. AT&T cell service was good, no issues. Their WiFi was also good, but restricted access to some Web sites.

Moderator Action

While there are factual aspects to this, the OP is also informally polling for personal experiences. So let’s move this to IMHO where both can be discussed.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

Cell phone users are stubbornly stupid. Tell them that using a cell phone on a plane could cause problems and they’ll use them on a plane anyway. Tell them not to use it in a hospital because it interferes with equipment and they use them there anyway. It often seems like the best way to guarantee that someone will use a cell phone in a particular area is to hang a sign there saying that you can’t use a cell phone in that area.

So electronics designers have just had to cope. The electronics on a plane are ridiculously shielded. Hospital equipment is designed with nearby cell phone use in mind. Everything designed today is much more immune to cell phone interference than older equipment.

Of course, cell phones can still interfere with some things. Trying to get people not to use their cell phones is a lost cause though.

A cell phone is a radio transmitter (that’s how it works) so it is MUCH more likely that your cell phone would interfere with hospital equipment than the other way around.

and I promise that when I see signs telling me not to use my cell phone I will do what they tell me to do. You seem to be assuming the presence of those signs.

In the ER? No reception. In the ICU? Full 4G.

When I was in hospital back in February, the cell reception was perfectly fine in any area I tried to use it.

My 4-day hospital stint a couple years ago had zero restriction on cell phone use. I was on mine constantly as I have unlimited data and no need for WiFi, no problems. There was also no restriction on visitors. If people wanted to visit at 2am, they could.

I’ll note that every nurse, aid, physical therapist, or doctor I saw during my stay had either their own or a hospital issued cell phone for use during their shift.

No issues with reception in the emergency area (that little room behind the curtain where you wait before you get the actual room) and in the actual room. Had all kinds of heart equipment hooked up and the nurses never told me to put it away. I have no idea about the call quality, I was looking up trivia on Wikipedia.

For my local hospital it’s pretty shitty but that’s due to the location: out of town, with diverse bunches of hills between it and any telephone towers. It’s better in the higher floors. You can ask to use the phones at any of the nurses’ stations, reception, etc. and so long as you’re not taking the last one they’ll let you (the phones are set up in such a way that if a station has three and gets called, picking any of the three takes the call).

For the hospitals in the capital it’s good, but those are in the capital, not 3km outside it.

Wifi is good in all of them.

And the hospital still has the “no cell phone” signs.

Last time I was in a hospital they had a cell phone recharge station with an assortment of connections for the convenience of patients who were transported in with their phone but without their charger.