Nursing Blogs

5 tips for a great hand-off report


Digital Vision | Thinkstock

Nurse-to-nurse report (change of shift or transfer of care) is an age-old skill that no one teaches you. It’s the source of concern for many in healthcare these days, but no one seems to take the time to spell out what makes a good report.

I remember reading that one of our certifying organizations is pushing for bedside hand-off reports–a study found that the hand-off report was the source of sentinel events, or at the very least the place where healthcare professionals are missing important care delivery information.

Still, I do not remember anyone cultivating this skill with me. I remember as a new graduate someone telling me to give report the way I assess the patient, but they never gave me specifics on the what, when, why and why not (not to mention the pertinent and less useful information to include in your report). Let’s be honest here, some nurses’ reports can be extremely lacking in information, while others are reading you the script from their next movie! Once again, there is no consistency.

I thought I’d give you some tips to make up a good hand-off report:

1. Always be prepared

  • Be the Boy Scout (sorry, ladies). I approach giving report the same way I approach calling a physician. Have your ducks in a row, have all your information gathered and know what you want to say before you start saying it.

2. Anticipate

  • Always anticipate the questions. What would you want to know about this patient if you were the one receiving the report and not giving it?

3. Nursing is a 24-hour job

  • This is a strong and valid statement, yet none of us actually follow the advice. What happened during your shift that rolled over from the prior shift? What will roll over from your shift onto the oncoming shift? You need to be prepared and mindful of all the tasks and events taking place for your patient and turn them into actionable results, even if that means it was something that happened before you got there, or will happen after you leave.

4. Be organized

  • Not only in your thought process, but in the delivery of your report. It’s a common practice to give your assessment findings in the same order as you perform the assessment (head-to-toe), but there is no right or wrong here, just be organized! Do not jump all over the place with no rhyme or reason. That’s how things get missed and mistakes are made.

5. Team effort

  • Be sure to include the oncoming shift when making any change of shift decisions. Get their input. I don’t think I need to remind you how much more effective and safe patient care is when it’s a team effort.

I kept this list simple, because quite honestly there is more than one way to effectively deliver a good hand-off report. There are a ton of cheat sheets and tools you can use to help you. In the end, it’s your responsibility to be an effective and efficient communicator, so you will get out of it what you put into it.

Anyone care to add to my list?

Scrubs Editor
The Scrubs Staff would love to hear your ideas for stories! Please submit your articles or story ideas to us here.

    8 hilarious last-minute holiday cards for nurses

    Previous article

    The one question nurses should ask every patient

    Next article

    You may also like


    1. Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a
      entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout
      and design. Superb choice of colors!

    2. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do
      believe that you need to publish more about this subject matter, it might not
      be a taboo subject but typically folks don’t discuss such issues.
      To the next! Cheers!!

    3. Thanks for another wonderful article. Where else may just
      anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal way of writing?

      I have a presentation next week, and I am at
      the look for such info.

    4. This piece of writing is really a fastidious one it helps new the web people, who are wishing in favor
      of blogging.

    5. It’s truly very complicated in this active life to listen news on TV, so I only use web for that purpose, and get the newest information.

    6. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
      Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

    7. I delight in, result in I found just what I used to be having a look for. You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

    8. Thank you, I have recently been looking for information approximately this topic for a while and yours is the greatest
      I have came upon till now. But, what about the
      conclusion? Are you sure concerning the supply?

    9. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long
      as I provide credit and sources back to your weblog?
      My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you provide
      here. Please let me know if this alright with you.
      Thanks a lot!

    10. Bei gut fünf Prozent aller gemeldeten Schadensfälle spielen Wackelkontakte
      eine Rolle. Heutzutage sollte auch chip umweltfreundliche Herstellung von Drucksachen eine Trommel spielen.

    11. Hurrah, that’s what I was searching for, what a stuff! existing here at this weblog, thanks admin of this web site.

    12. I don’t even understand how I stopped up right here, but
      I believed this publish was once great. I don’t realize
      who you might be but definitely you are going to a famous blogger when you aren’t already.

    13. I just could not go away your site prior to suggesting that
      I actually enjoyed the usual info a person provide in your visitors?
      Is gonna be back frequently in order to check up on new posts

    14. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative.
      I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future.
      Lots of people will be benefited from your writing.

    15. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.

      Did you make this website yourself or did you hire
      someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know where
      u got this from. kudos

    16. I simply could not leave your web site before suggesting that I really loved
      the standard info a person supply to your visitors? Is going to be back incessantly to investigate cross-check new posts

    17. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
      Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I
      can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start.
      Do you have any ideas or suggestions? With thanks

    18. If you desire to grow your experience just keep visiting this
      web site and be updated with the most up-to-date news update posted here.

    19. It’s an amazing post designed for all the online
      users; they will get benefit from it I am sure.
      asmr asmr

    20. Why people still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything is presented on net?

      cheap flights cheap

    21. hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here.
      I did however expertise several technical points using this
      website, as I experienced to reload the web site lots of times
      previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if
      your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances
      times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score
      if advertising and marketing with Adwords.

      Anyway I am adding this RSS to my email and could look out for much more of your respective interesting content.
      Ensure that you update this again very soon. scoliosis surgery scoliosis surgery

    22. Yes! Finally something about a. quest bars quest bars

    23. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
      I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
      I am quite sure I will learn plenty of new stuff right here!
      Best of luck for the next! quest bars quest bars

    24. I’m curious to find out what blog platform you
      have been working with? I’m having some minor security
      issues with my latest site and I’d like to find something more
      safe. Do you have any solutions? ps4 games ps4

    25. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
      you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent, let alone
      the content! scoliosis surgery scoliosis surgery

    26. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
      Very useful information specially the last part 🙂 I care for
      such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a long
      time. Thank you and good luck.

    27. I love it when individuals get together and share ideas. Great website, stick
      with it!

    28. Nah dibawah іni, ada beberapa istilah penting pada permainan judi
      Bandar Poker uang asli yang tentunya wаjib ɑnda pelajari dan рahami.
      Tentunya dengan syarat kartu bandar harus dibawah nilai
      10. Jika mendaⲣatқan kartu J, J , J , 10 , 10 , 10 ,
      ♠ ( ɑce ) ,♠ ( ace ), ♠ ( ace ) maka bandar akan bayar plaʏer 3x lipat dan akan mendapatkan Jaсkpot di meja tersebut.
      Nominaⅼ modal poker deposit 10rb terjangkau dengan ріlihan room permainan beragam dаri
      meja taruhan kecil hіngga meja taruhan besar (profeѕsi᧐nal).
      Yang tentunya istilah-istіlah tersebut sangatlah umum digunakan di dalam meja taruhan. Ada beberaрa jenis taruhan dan jenis pasaran yang bisa anda mainakn untuk mempermudah anda bermain dan meraih kemenagnan terbaiқ di ⅼengkapnya taruhan yang telah kami sediakan. BIGPOᏦER88 ɑdalah bandar сeme online terperсaya
      uang asli sejak tahun 2011. Kami merupakan ρrovider game poker online terƅaik Ԁi Indoneѕia khususnya IDN POKER.
      Selain judi remi, gamе ini juga diкenal dengan sebutan Domino.
      Itu dia sedikit informaѕi yang bisa кami sampаikan mengenai beberapa jenis permainan judi Bandar Poker uang asli.
      Hadiaһ yаng didɑpatnya bеrvariasi antar pemain terutama pria
      yang cenderսng mengunjᥙngi situs kami. Ini
      sebenarnya bisa berarti perbedaan antara memenangkan uang besar ɗan kehilangan jumlah yang Anda mainkan dalam putaran gratis dan hadiah Ьonus yang dapat Anda terima dari situѕ.

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *