Need examples of Shift Change...

by PSA, RN PSA, RN Member


I have noticed that some places tape report for oncoming nurses and others just give verbal report. If possible I would like to hear from some fellow nurses and their experiences with shift change. Thanks in advance for anyone's assistance.


husker-nurse, LPN, LVN

Specializes in med-surg. Has 8 years experience. 230 Posts

I work the overnight 8-hour shift, and we tape report for the day shift. We get verbal report from the 3-11 shift, but I would advise you to read any new orders on all your patients every night, some things are inadvertantly forgotten or left out in report. With a verbal report, at least you're able to ask questions and give any updates that may have been left out of the tape. I usually try to hang out and make sure my replacement is FOR SURE on the floor, and give her a head's-up on any new info......



87 Posts

Does anybody do written shift report on their units? We do verbal and it's a disaster. Too much info is left out, too many things get missed shift to shift. And it takes way too long. I'd appreciate any input or suggestions.



Specializes in geriatrics. Has 6 years experience. 71 Posts

We do a written report but its not very consistent. Some RN's write sown all vital signs and labs even if they're normal. Others write sown social issues that aren't addressed in chart {pt is whiny and complaining about temp in room} but miss major medical issues. I try to write any abnormals, things that still need to be done, ect. I always will do a verbal on a new admit or a very involed pt.


tiroka03, LPN

Specializes in LPN. Has 18 years experience. 393 Posts

we do taped reports. However many nurses don't like it and do verbal. It seems to me that taped reports are much more to the point. Verbal reports are lengthy and chit chaty. It wastes my time. At the begining of my shift, every moment counts and I am annoyed by lengthy reports.

When I am finished with a taped report, I write down any new items or meds given. During this time of decompression, I usually remember items I didn't mention on taped report. I write it down simply and give it to the nurse coming on.



Specializes in Med/Surg. Has 14 years experience. 303 Posts

I prefer taped report, because once you are ready to hear report, it's there for you. You can always track the nurse down and ask them questions if necessary. We now do verbal report though, and sometimes if something's going on with a patient I will sit and wait for 30+ minutes to get report on a patient. Ridiculous! :uhoh3:


meownsmile, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho. 2,532 Posts

We tape shift to shift report. If there is any changes from tape time and time the new shift comes on we give a verbal update. Tape reports should be to the point, very little personal opinions given (which doesnt happen sometimes with verbal reports). And its real easy to back the tape up and listen to something if you didnt catch it the first time. I havent found the reverse button on the offgoing nurse yet.;)



24 Posts

I prefer face to face report. And if it is a pt that I have had before and has been in the hospital forever sometimes I play the 20 questions report. Please dont go through the whole history again for me.... hows their urine output? fever today? ambulating? pain control? great...thanks...on to the next one. What chaps my hide is people who spend time focusing on the little stuff and will spend five minutes trying to remember if the IV is in their right or left arm!!! WHo cares!?

Give me the down and dirty and let me go make my own assessment and get on with providing them care. Nothing is worse then a long drawn out report that essentially tells you nothing about the pt and their status.

I'll shut up now... :uhoh3:



335 Posts

Where I used to work we taped report, which I liked because it was much quicker when you are picking up 6 patients. Now, in critical care, we give verbal. With fewer patients, the time works out about the same. We do chart checks together, and review all orders written on the previous shift.


missnurse01, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience. 1,280 Posts

i liked taped reports, as you seemed to get out quicker. verbal seemed to take forever. but now that i work er, i can run through all my pts charts quickly and just ask for an update from the nurse while she is running around trying to finish up...seems that we get a lot of nurses who like to skip out and give no report at all, or don't know what is in a room b/c they and the doc haven't seen the pt yet. it's interesting...charting is rarely caught up either, anyone else have that problem in er? pt has been waiting to see doc in a room for hours and not a thing charted? or pt is about to be d/c'd and nothing written yet. seems like i write a lot of 'assumed care of pt at ...'-anyone have a good way of dealing with this?



435 Posts

We give written report. You can read over it and ask questions if you have any. The nurse who writes report usually goes over it with the nurse coming on too. Where I used to work, we did taped report. It was a pain waiting on your turn to use the tape recorder when giving report or when waiting to hear the part on the tape about your own patients. I would usually go in early just so I could go ahead and hear my report first and get started instead of having to wait. I'm kinda impatient that way, LOL.



1,170 Posts

We first have an overview of each patient which the oncoming charge nurse reads. It has important highlights such as : patient in restraints, Blood sugar down to 35 received one amp of glucose, patient had 15 beat run of vt, code status etc. This should take 10 mins max for up to 28 patients. If a complex situation the overview will say "see me" in regards to that patient. Since we do flow sheet charting the off going shift turns in their flow sheets(if completed) and we read off of them to ourselves all the fine details.

Prior to this we didn't do flow sheet charting so there were report sheets we would fill out. Before that was taped report. This was very time consuming, some nurses talked too fast, some too slow, some went way overboard and should have done a 1:1. Some didn't have the time to tape report so they gave a verbal which usually meant a lot of unnecessary conversation. Also you had to wait til the tape recorder was free.

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