As a medical student and resident in the Texas Medical Center, I’ve rotated through many hospitals and clinics with varying degrees of success regarding my cellular connectivity. In particular, the hospital I’m at currently is notoriously bad for working with my Verizon service.
Enter Google Voice. With this free service, you’ll get a free phone number and other services like voicemail (including transcription), free text messaging, cheap international calling, call screening/blocking, etc. I primarily use the Google Hangouts client for SMS, and Google Voice integrates quite well with the app across multiple devices and operating systems.
I’m starting to give my Google Voice number out preferentially as its much easier to filter calls using the aforementioned services. More importantly, I can communicate much more reliably with attendings and nurses who use primarily use text messaging instead of pagers since texts are sent over WiFi instead of the cell network.
I’d strongly recommend people at least try it out and see if Google Voice is for them!