Published Jun 3, 2009
Where do you think handover should take place - infront of a patient sharing a four bedded room - or in the nurses office?
How does your work place do it? is it by recommendations for the NUM or Policy?
The Australian hospital i'm employed at does not have policies and nurses are in a constant battle on where we should have hand over.
I find the the best place for the handover is at the pt.'s bedside. If the pt is sharing a room then do it at nurses station but check on the pt. with the outgoing nurse. I find that many times a nurse will endorse something and when you get to the pt.'s room you find something completely different. This is a good way to cover yourself.
I like a two part approach.
The first part of the report is given at the nurses' station. I give the basic list of who the patient is, why he is here, all the basic information plus any information I don't want spoken in front of the patient(for example: Mr. Smith has advanced cancer, he hasn't been told yet, Dr. X will come tell him this morning).
Then I do a quick bedside show and tell of the IV fluids, IV sites and tubings and dressings.
I work in ICU, so this is possible in a reasonable timeframe.
We give report for all our patients outside of the rooms, then go in together to introduce ourselves, say hello/goodbye, check IV's, fluids, etc. Our whole report process takes about 20 minutes, longer if complicated.
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