tIntroduction: Nurses’ work in hospital departments is highly collaborative and includes com-munication with a variety of actors. To further support nurses’ communications, wirelessphones, on which nurses receive both nurse calls and ordinary phone calls, have beenintroduced. However, while they ensure high availability among the mobile nurses, thesephones also contribute to an increased number of interruptions.Purpose: This paper aims to discover whether all interruptions caused by the wireless phonesare unwanted. Further, it investigates how nurses handle these interruptions in a hospitalsetting in order to construct a foundation for guidelines to use in designing these types ofsystems.Methods: Qualitative and ethnographically inspired fieldwork, including workshops withboth ordinary and student nurses from a Norwegian hospital, was undertaken. Patientsfrom two hospital departments were interviewed.Results: Nurses struggle to handle interruptions caused by the wireless nurse call system.Deciding whether to abort an activity or not to respond to an interruption is regarded asstressful. The decision is further complicated by the complex nature of the interruptions.At the same time, patients anticipate that nurses are able to make these judgements withlimited information. Nurses’ work is highly collaborative, and nurses depend on one anotherto carry out their work and manage interruptions.Conclusion: The dual nature of the interruptions is complex, and whether an interruptionis wanted or unwanted depends on many factors. Nurses manage interruptions mainlyby making their own activities visible and monitoring colleagues’ work. Therefore, nurses’awareness of colleagues’ activities is a key factor in how they handle interruptions in theform of nurse calls.