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Tips for a Smooth Nursing Shift Change

Tips for a Smooth Nursing Shift Change

Heather Stringer / Monster.com

At the end of a long day of caring for patients, it’s time to give the end-of-shift report to the oncoming nurses. Although it may be tempting to rush through this routine duty, patient safety hinges on a complete and correct exchange of information.

“We underestimate its importance,” says Elizabeth Henneman, RN, PhD, CCNS, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “It is one of the most critical times we have to communicate accurate information about the patient’s status and the plan for future care.”

Seasoned nurses like Henneman say the shift report can be a positive experience for outgoing and oncoming nurses alike if they avoid common pitfalls and observe some best practices.

#1: Safety Is Key

#2: Work from a Cheat Sheet

#3: Patients Aid in Shift Reporting



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