Why Do Nurses Give Shift Report in the Patient’s Room?

May 11, 2019


Why Do Nurses Give Shift Report in the Patient’s Room?

First, what is shift report? Shift report is when the nurse who is ending their shift passes on the details of patient care with the nurse who is starting their shift. These details usually include topics such as your past medical history, where your IVs or incisions are, lab results, what medications you are on, and how your procedure went. These insights into your care are important for the nurses to know what to expect when they assess you (look you over from head to toe). This vital communication between nurses is all about you and your care.

Patient Involvement Improves Safety and Quality

Historically, this report was given to the oncoming nurse at the nurse’s station. So why do nurses now give report in your room? There is good evidence that shows that when patients are involved in their care there are improvements in safety and quality. You know your body better than anyone! Engaging you and your family in your plan can help ensure a safe handoff and make the transfer between shifts more successful. It also gives us as nurses more time in your room to answer questions and take care of any needs you might have.

Respect for Patients

The format of involving you in report allows you to share any worries, discuss any discomfort or pain you may have, and convey your goals with the nurses. We want to create an environment where all of the hospital team works together with you and your family as partners. During report you will be treated with respect, and asked to collaborate with the nurses about your care. Expect that report is about 5 minutes long. Our shift report at CHI Health Nebraska Heart, for example, starts at 6:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

We invite you to participate in the bedside shift report, and to ask a family member or caregiver to be there during report if they would like to. Thank you for allowing us to be your partner in health care!

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