Tips for positive written communicate between shifts-communication book

  1. Hey there! Wondering if anyone has any tips on ways to make our communication book more positive. Most workers refer to our communication book for between shifts as "the ***** book". I personally really do feel the communication book is important because my position starts after the day staff leave and also before the night lady comes. I know there's no magic fix to people who want to write nasty or sarcastic comments but I'm interested in working to improve the book so that it is a positive thing and possibly will make others who don't write in it feel that they can when needed. Maybe if anyone has any "rules" etc for there work communication book that we could apply to ours. Thank you
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   soutthpaw
    how about attaboys? Ask the patient how was their care from the previous shift. if it was positive, ask if the previous nurse did anything that the patient really appreciated. If you can do that once every shift or so, write it in the ***** book. "patient in room 123 said XXX nurse did a wonderful job of making her comfortable and listening to her story about their grandchild etc" folks will start asking why patients tell you all this stuff and you can share your simple method of questioning. If they complain about another nurse, then don't write that, instead, share it directly with that nurse if appropriate or keep it to yourself...

    The follow up is to thank the patient the next shift for her positive comments about the care, you are then building a positive feedback loop...
  4. by   CNA2016:)
    I love that!!! Great tip thank you!!!
  5. by   caliotter3
    The communication book is a legal document. All entries should be professional and written with the thought that they might be entered into litigation. I always keep that in mind and make my entries short and few in number.
    Last edit by caliotter3 on Jul 16
  6. by   CNA2016:)
    I'm wondering if all communication books are legal documents? We have computer charting and progress notes which of course are legal documents but I wasn't aware that the communication book was. Our book hardly contains info on resident specific details, more like "resident in 101 bed changed" "room 114 dentures in clean utility" or things like "please make sure to put resident in 105 in a green brief at HS". Often notes from the communication book are duplicated in the computer charting. However, if it is in fact still a legal document then that alone should be reason to be professional when writing in it! haha thank you
  7. by   CNA2016:)
    Often staff will write things about cleanliness and upkeep as well like "please replace bags in garbages" or "only fill laundry bags 3/4". This is all legal documentation because some notes contain resident related notes?
  8. by   caliotter3
    It is up to your facility to be clear about their policy with a communication book. They are leaving themselves open if they do not.
  9. by   Escape
    Maybe that could be brought up (callotter3) at shift change. A little education never hurt.
  10. by   CNA2016:)
    I totally agree! The facility I work for is in a small town so they struggle to keep workers and management. It's very slack to say it nicely. But I will definitely speak to someone about it. I'm trying to do some improving on my floor. I just got a position and it's very hard to keep workers on this floor so I feel like I'm one of the only people who care haha but i dont mind being the care aide who always nags if its for a more efficent and positive outcome. thank you
  11. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from CNA2016:)
    I'm wondering if all communication books are legal documents? We have computer charting and progress notes which of course are legal documents but I wasn't aware that the communication book was. Our book hardly contains info on resident specific details, more like "resident in 101 bed changed" "room 114 dentures in clean utility" or things like "please make sure to put resident in 105 in a green brief at HS". Often notes from the communication book are duplicated in the computer charting. However, if it is in fact still a legal document then that alone should be reason to be professional when writing in it! haha thank you
    A communication book is in most cases considered an internal document. It only becomes "Discoverable evidence" when and if it is mentioned in the patient's official record. It's kind of like an occurrence report which is also an internal document.

    An example of this would be a nurse finding a patient in a wet bedding with a brand new HAPU who then writes in the patients chart something like "HAPU discovered notation made in communication book. Now the lawyers know there is a communication book.
  12. by   CNA2016:)
    yes I spoke to one of the nurses and she said that it is mostly for us and that is why we don't write names. also because it is in a regular book where anyone can access
  13. by   janemd
    Thank you for great tips!
  14. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    I was taught that communication books are considered part of the chart. When I first started in Private Duty, I oriented on a case where 2 nurses were having a knock-down-drag-out fight via the conmunication book. I don't know what the clinical manager did, but she stopped it.

    I keep things in the communication book clinical: PRNs given, med refusals, treatment progress, new issues, equipment news, and supply requests. The one time I wrote an "attaboy"- type note, the other nurse got mad. I think he thought I was being sarcastic.

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