Talk to Me, Not About Me: Nursing Handover in the Hospital Setting
Nursing handover is an event that takes place daily between nurses and medical staff. Nurses need to understand and effectively practice handover to increase patient satisfaction and safety. Handover can be completed either at the bedside or outside of the patient’s room. According to Vermeulen, “nursing handover occurs when one nurse hands over the responsibility of care for a patient to another nurse, for example, at the end of a nursing shift. On average, nursing handovers occur three times a day for each patient” (2014). When handover is practiced poorly, actions may result in missing pertinent patient information including, “delays in treatment or diagnosis for the patient, inappropriate treatment, or failure to provide appropriate care” (Vermeulen, 2014). Patients feel reassured when staff have an understanding of their care as well as feeling insecure if the nurse does not understand their plan of care (Bruton, 2016). Handover is important to the nursing process as it is an essential practice performed at the beginning of the shift, switching nurses, and end of shift. McAllen states, “BSR [Bedside Report] is a significant change to the current shift report practice and culture of most organizations, but it is associated with both improved patient safety and patient and nurse satisfaction” (2018). The purpose of this evidence-based practice brief is to understand patient satisfaction when handover is performed at the bedside compared to when completed outside of the patient’s room.