The Importance Of Inter-Shift Handover

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The authors’ experience and wide range of existing research on inter-shift handover reveals that there are many different ways to hand over a client in the end of the nursing shift. This so-called “ritual” is central to good practice development but also aids a nurse to gain essential caseload knowledge at the beginning of the shift. Handover process may be divided into five major types: handover sheet, tape recorded, bedside, written and verbal (Miller 1998, Sexton et al. 2004). However, verbal end of shift handover predominantly dominates all other types of handover in psychiatric settings. The author reflected on the personal experiences of verbal end of shift handover and concluded that purely verbal handover leads to loss of important client relevant information over period of time and redeeming this information from the notes could be time draining experience. To prove that…show more content…
This conclusion supported by research conducted in 1999 by Webster. He found that passed information is irrelevant rather than informing (Webster 1999). Inter-shift handover is crucially important for safety and continuity of client’s care (WHO 2007). However, current nursing education and ward culture dismisses the importance of inter-shift handover skill development by nursing students. This gap in training forces student/newly qualified nurses to learn this skill “on the go” without specific direction or standardization of the process. Although, accountability for the continuity and quality of delivered care are heavily emphasised in current curriculum and skill development requirements, literature suggests that inter-shift handovers under-appreciated by nursing staff (Scovell, 2010). These dismissal and under-appreciation creates situation where are newly qualified nurses lucking or have only partial knowledge about inter-shift

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