Nursing Handover procedures. Current Issues in Nursing & Recommendations for Professional Development for Nurses.
Please Write a reflective essay on a current nursing topic that has been observed in clinical practice.
Choose a nursing topic that needs addressing in order to improve nursing standards/ practise.
My Chosen topic is; Nursing Handover Procedures.
Important information is being missed or misinterpreted when verbally handing over patient information at the end of a shift to the oncoming shift nurses. I have personally seen this happen on many occasions
during handovers. I have observed errors happen on both sides during the handover process, the nurse handing over the information and also errors have been by the nurse receiving the hand over. The three
main areas of concern I have observed have been;
1, Language barriers (culturally diverse nursing teams), with verbal handovers sometimes the ethnic background of a person can a disadvantage to them, especially if English is not their first language. All nurses
should be aware of this and speak with an appropriate tone, rate and volume as to ensure a thorough handover of patient information. This could be improved with a more detailed written handover to use in
conjunction with the verbal handover of patient information.
2, Time is often a factor (nurses tend to try and handover too quickly, oncoming shift nurse has to try and write down info quickly and often in shorthand that can lead to confusion later),
3, Distractions, such as background noise on the ward or interruptions by other staff are a key hazard for missing vital information. Handover is usually done at the bedside so that the patient may be involved in
the process. Nurses need to make all staff aware that distractions and interruptions during a handover may lead to errors. Only the necessary nursing staff should be giving and receiving the handovers.
4, Abbreviations can also be a major part of communication breakdown. Although the hospital has a standard list of regularly used abbreviations of medical terms but many nurse tend to use unofficial
abbreviations this leads to confusion as the letters used could mean one thing to one person and have a completely different meaning to someone else. This is a product of the younger generation having a higher
use of text messaging within their personal lives. As a result of abbreviating so much in their general communications they seem to bring this into their work environment and put it into medical use.
As well as discussing the issues that can arise from poor nursing handovers. Provide recommendations and strategies for future professional development for nurses. Base recommendations on evidenced-
based literature so that you can support the recommendations with references.
A minimum of 15 references are required to support your essay. References should be mostly peer-reviewed journal articles, published within the last seven years.