Afraid of giving report

by Charlize Charlize (New) New

I was hoping for a little advice. I have been a nurse for 5 years and I still get terribly nervous about giving report? Why is that? It makes me feel like I am uneducated or not a good nurse because I have a hard time communicating. It’s embarrassing. How can I get over this?

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 20 years experience. 3 Articles; 4,405 Posts

If you don't mind my asking what are your issues with communicating? Do you have speech issues, problems with content, anticipating nurses questions etc.... Remember a good report is short and to the point. In psych we normally give report for up to 15 patients within a 30 minute time frame. If I am reporting to another nurse who knows the patients well I focus on any change of condition, pending labs, response to treatment and emergency medications that might have been given.

If it is a new patient the report includes why the patient is currently hospitalized and legal status. Current condition, medical problems, allergies especially those to emergency psych meds. Treatment/substance abuse history and all the other stuff I mentioned.

It's good to organize your report in a typical way and be ready to answer questions if need be. Avoid needless editorializations and stick to the facts.

Early in my psych career I would have to report off the the meanest nurse I had ever met. She had me terrified to the point where I would start getting nervous and jumpy for the last hour of the day, but I learned a lot from her and got so I didn't leave anything important out.

If you could let us know specifically what the issue is it would help.




15 Posts

I have this issue, too. I think it also really depends on the nurses on the unit. Some are so picky and want everything handed to them. I tend to only want the main details so it drives me crazy when the incoming nurse wants so many details.

When I feel anxious, I prepare myself during my shift and try to keep it in the flow of my report sheet so I’m not all over the place.

Nurse Fi, ADN, BSN, LVN, RN

Specializes in Telemetry, PCCN. Has 8 years experience. 16 Posts

Hey there! I don't know what area you work in but for an inpatient Medical or critical care setting I think it helps when you organize your report sheet by systems (I.e. I start off my sheet with a dx at the top then patient hx. , neuro, cardio, respiratory, GI/GU, Skin, & Lines....I add extra points on the side that are important as well under a separate space labeled"plan of care"

I fill in each area as I receive report from the outgoing RN. Sometimes the RN might miss something so at the end of his/her schpeel I ask questions if I notice somethings blank on my sheet. As I go through my shift, I try to find time to look up info about the patient's plan of care in the charts and write down relevant info/updates under my plan of care space. When I give report, I just go down the line in that order.

Sometimes it's good to keep it straight to the point as much as possible. The more you practice, the more confident you will become. Find what system works for you. I find that I am even more nervous giving report when I am unorganized or unprepared.


caugoesmoo, RN

21 Posts

Make a SBAR report sheet or steal a template off the internet that fits your unit. If you have everything down on paper, all you need to do at report time is just read off the paper - it will be organized, flow well and you won't forget anything (unless it's not on the sheet)

You should be excited at report time - YOU GET TO GO HOME!



Specializes in ICU RN. Has 7 years experience. 2 Posts

I have also been a nurse for 5 years (3 as a traveler) and my biggest anxiety is report. I have had so many horrible experiences. At one hospital I would literally get anxiety attacks when I got home after giving this particular nurse report. The ones who are hell to give report to are usually the same nurses who always give the worst reports when it is their turn. I agree with the above poster. Make a sheet and go down it by system. All you have to do is read it. If you get interrupted by the oncoming nurse, put a finger on your sheet where you were at so you can come back to it.

What questions have nurses asked you in the past? Learn to anticipate similar questions. Make sure you spend your downtime getting to know your patients charts. If someone is truly bullying you with unnecessary questions or attitude tell them “I don’t know that off the top of my head but I’m sure it’s in the chart”. I work ICU and MOST nurses could care less about report and will always look up their patients to their satisfaction. You need to prioritize giving info that happened on your shift that may not be reflected in the MD’s notes yet.