This 3D printed device adapts a nurse call button to make the call button easier to operate with a larger target area.

If you cannot use your hands, you cannot press a “nurse call” button - big problemo.

This was originally made for someone in hospital who had lost both hands due to an extremely severe illness, but it also applies to people with poor coordination or muscle weakness. This presents many life changing issues but one immediate, quite frightening and very real problem unless your relatives are by your side 24h a day, is that you cannot press a regular hospital “nurse call” button.

A regular nurse call system often has the button recessed slightly to prevent it being accidentally triggered and also it requires moderate force to operate for the same reason. Nurse call systems differ from for example a doorbell, in that the buzzer will keep going off on the nursing station until the nurse attends the patient and presses the reset button over the patient’s bed.

You could alternatively shout loudly, which is not very satisfactory - it does not make you very popular in the middle of the night and it depends how nice the nurses are as regards whether they come or not.

Here we have a very commonly seen nurse call handset as found in many European hospitals (not sure if also the same as in the US). It is inserted into the 3D printed “holder” and held firmly in place by a clamp which clips over the lower front surface. A large hinged pad, when pressed with any part of the body, e.g. elbow, heel of foot, acts on the button in the handset so triggering the nurse call function. There are some holes on each corner to allow it to be cable-tied to the rails of a bed, or affixed to a board as required.

Obviously this is not officially endorsed in any way by the nurse call handset manufacturer, indeed I do not even know which company manufactures it. You make this at your own risk, it might break, it might not work. It was designed and built very quickly (i.e. overnight) to solve an immediate problem and on that specific occasion it worked really well. It was in use for several weeks.

For different nurse call systems you would have to adapt the design, however I am putting the basic idea out there for anyone who may be interested.

Authors: John Xenon