Why does giving report have to be the worst part of my shift

  1. I've been a nurse in my hospital for about six months and still dread giving report at shift change. This morning I finished my third night shift in a row. It was a tough three days, but the last shift was really great. I felt like I did well with my patients. The chemistry on the floor was wonderful.

    But then I had to give report to a nurse I respect but who is really nasty at shift change. There's nothing I can do to prepare for giving report to her because no matter what I say she will come up with specific questions to put me in my place. She is impatient and sometimes abusive. The funny thing is...on the days I RECIEVE report from her, she is also incredibly impatient because she wants to leave and get home. She won't even allow me to ask any questions.

    That 30 minutes with her at shift change this morning was so bad that it destroyed all of the good feelings I took from the good work I did during my shift.

    Does anyone else have a similar experience? How do you get through it? I really feel so low when this happens.
  2. Visit wcbembe profile page

    About wcbembe, ADN, RN

    Joined: Nov '11; Posts: 22; Likes: 15
    Nursing Student; from US

    10 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from wcbembe
    Does anyone else have a similar experience? How do you get through it? I really feel so low when this happens.
    These types of nurses have stopped messing with me during report because I firmly tell them to stop interrupting me if they are going overboard with the petty questions. Yesterday I gave report to an oncoming nurse who kept demanding to know how the patients looked last week. I told her, "I didn't have these patients last week, so I don't know. Let's focus on the present."

    Rude nurses pick on coworkers who are perceived as 'softies': the overly nice ones who will not defend themselves when being pushed around. In other words, they seek out people whom they see as easy targets, and they leave other nurses alone. If you make yourself a more challenging target by resisting their efforts to rip your report apart, they'll begin leaving you alone.

    Sometimes it helps to call the person out on her nasty, abusive behavior. "Do you have a problem? If so, let's talk about it, but I won't tolerate being treated like dog poop."

    I've learned the hard way that you sometimes need to give people a taste of their own nasty medicine before they'll stop the nastiness.
  4. by   ArmaniX
    What kind of questions are you being asked by the oncoming staff that you don't have answers too? I am in my first 6 months as well, but have never had any issues with staff when giving report. So long as you can answer 1) why were they admitted 2) relevant labs/diagnostics and 3) typical head to toe run down r/t to acuity.

    No shame is saying "I don't know" or for silly information that is not critical "it's in the chart"
  5. by   Pangea Reunited
    Commuter is dead on. You've got to be assertive when you deal with these types of people. Once they figure out that you bite back, they whimper away.
    Don't react when you're angry or emotional, though. Wait until you're having a clear-headed day and can really nail it. You'll only have to do it once.
  6. by   nynursey_
    I agree. This has happened to me several times as I tend not to go into detail over the things that can be ascertained from the chart. If the oncoming nurse needs excessive details regarding frequency of vital signs, if they're a daily weight, did so-and-so visit them today, ... they can check the chart. We have a pretty handy EMR that shows you active physician orders up to and including the vital signs frequency, diet, ambulation orders, etc. Report, in my opinion, is for the things you may otherwise not know if I didn't personally tell you. You need a detailed account of MY assessment during MY 12-hour shift. Anything else can be gleaned from a quick glance at the computer. Going over those minute details wastes your time AND mine.

    I'd politely refer her to where she can find the answer, particularly if you don't know. Don't beat yourself up over not having 100,000 details to give in report, especially if your nurse to patient ratio is 1:6.
    Last edit by nynursey_ on Feb 17, '14 : Reason: spelling & grammar.
  7. by   kaylee.
    This doesn't happen too often, but had one of these the other day. I guess I would consider myself a "softie", I have a hard time being assertive when approached with aggression. I am working on it. But this last report was the most blatant nitpicking.

    If i said "pt came from Ed" she cut me off and said, "from snf?" If i said pt came from snf, she interrupted with "which snf? Then i finally get to saying: "Originally in for infection but main issue is acute on chronic kidney injury." Then she interrupts asking what the baseline renal labs are. Ok valid question but i was getting to the labs. I Said the baseline creat was 2, now its 6. And GFR was 7. Then instead of letting me continue she asks what the baseline BUN is! Now that is something she needs to look up! Creatinine was 2, now 6, expect same pattern with BUN!

    Finally she stops everything and says she is sooo confused, implying my report was not clear! So i explain the overview in one sentence and continue my report. But it was frustrating, bc she was demanding a further question for every statement i made, until she got to the detail i couldn't answer.

    Anyway, i realize that i cant let her push me around then act like my report is scattered. Its my report and i need to act as such...So to empathize with the OP, had a great shift but this little incident threw me off...am working on my assertive and rational statements in these situations...
  8. by   wcbembe
    Thanks everyone for the comments. I agree with all. To BaileyRN, what you described is EXACTLY how it is with this rude nurse. Thanks for writing in.
  9. by   not.done.yet
    There is NOTHING wrong with stating "Your questions derail my thought process and I am concerned I miss things when you interrupt. I will answer your questions but not until I finish my report. Thank you." Be firm but unemotional. If she/he gets huffy/puffy about it, pause, look them directly in the eye until they stop talking, let the uncomfortable silence hang and then calmly continue giving report where you left off without acknowledging the huffy/puffy. At the end, if the nurse has questions about things that aren't particularly pertinent or are peripheral and easily ascertained by accessing the chart , simply say "I do not remember but I am sure it is in the chart. What other questions do you have?" Just make sure the question isn't truly addressing something important that you may have left out. Above all, remain calmly confident. Their reward is you squirming. If you cut off the oxygen supply, the fire dies.
  10. by   Wrench Party
    When I give report I only hit the highlights that can't be gleaned from the chart, and what happened in my time with the patient. No need to waste breath on something they can read. And, when I get report, I also only want the most pertinent info. (IVs, fall status, main admit reason, major issues, etc.).

    If report takes more than 5 minutes/patient, there's too much irrelevant info.
  11. by   Emergent
    Amen Commuter! I just had to say it! You are right on, Sister!

    I'm an ER nurse and we are supposed to send an SBAR. There is one bully nurse who likes to pick apart reports, and ask questions that she SHOULD have read on the all important SBAR.

    I just ask "Did you read the SBAR?"

    Grrrr, I hate confrontational people in report!!!! Just a chance, in their small, petty world, to make someone squirm!
  12. by   Whoatemyburger
    Sometimes it helps to call the person out on her nasty, abusive behavior. "Do you have a problem? If so, let's talk about it, but I won't tolerate being treated like dog poop."


    so weird because I been a nurse for a year and we have a new experience nurse on the floor who tried that with me the other day . I asked her if she had a problem ? Problem solved , never again has she tried !!!! Stand your grounds !

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