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12 things you can do at the end of your shift to help the incoming nurses

Shutterstock | Volt Collection
Shutterstock | Volt Collection

Are you familiar with the feeling of impending doom as you head in to work and aren’t sure whether to expect a relatively calm shift or a firestorm? If you’re one of the lucky few, you may have colleagues who perform what we like to call Random Acts of Nursing to help the incoming shift not feel entirely overwhelmed as the outgoing nurses (sometimes literally) sprint for the door.

We asked the community on the Scrubs Mag Facebook page what they do at the end of each shift to help make the changing-of-the-guard transition a little smoother. The responses we received made it clear that nurses are filled with thoughtfulness and kindness not just for their patients, but also for their fellow nurses.

“Make sure diapers have been changed, IV fluids are full enough, feedings are done and a set of vitals right before shift change…NICU RN.” —Tara H.

“A good report, IV bags that aren’t dry, clean patient rooms, prepare the patient/family for shift change, Foley emptied and no overdue meds!” —Kati K.

“Make sure patients have been medicated for pain, IV bags have enough in them and have encouraged patient to use the bathroom. Helps oncoming nurse not start behind.” —Joel V.

“Clean everything, restock, make sure that I’ve done everything that I should for the patient/patients!” —Valerie M.

“Make sure that the computer task list is completed.” —Christine A.

“Do a double check to make sure the docs didn’t sneak in any last-minute orders, special drips (heparin, pressors, narcs), have an extra bag or bag changed if low, restock needed items, etc.” —Susan G.

“Always leave everything from YOUR shift…COMPLETE!” —Marie D.

“Make sure any pain meds that may be needed have been given, IV fluids are sufficient and briefs are dry!” —Christa S.

“5 P’s: pain, potty, pumps, position and parents.” —Linda G.

“I make sure that the nurses’ station is neat and clean. I run and print out end-of-day reports for the oncoming nurse.” —Chris V.

“Always make sure my work is done, carts are stocked, IV fluid bags are full, everyone is stable and medicated for pain, and the most important…brew a fresh pot of coffee.” —Jessica N.

“I leave them with a song, something they know well and love. Something that will stick in their heads all day. Something by the Monkees, or maybe the Herman’s Hermits. Something they will thank me for 12 hours later when I return….” —Jim J.

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One Response to 12 things you can do at the end of your shift to help the incoming nurses

  1. qaqueen RN

    IV bags/PCAs/epidurals have at least several hours in them. If you don’t get everything done, let them know. Good report. Patients are dry and clean. Pts garbage is emptied. If you know pt quirks, pass it on.

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