This assignment intends to review the concept of nursing shift handover. Nursing handover can be defined as an important time to exchange information pertinent to the continued care of their patients (Pothier, Monteiro, Nooktlar et al. 2005). Methods of handover are varied, ranging from taped, verbal, by the bedside or with typed sheets.
In 2010 there were 352,104 registered nurses, midwives and health visitors working in the NHS (RCN, 2011). All of these will partake in a handover of information on a regular basis, in hospitals this handover takes place at least twice day. In 2009/2010 there was 16,806,200 hospital stays in NHS hospitals (IC NHS, 2011). Information about their care would have been exchanged at shift changes, with the quality of each handover ensuring relevant care. Consequently, we can see that handovers effects thousands of nursing staff together with the thousands of patients in the hospital setting.
The Health & Safety Executive (1996) stated that handover has several requisites, in particularly that communication between shifts should be accurate and without misunderstandings. The need to improve handovers is international recognized along with the obstacles that need to be overcome. Solutions need to address the healthcare professionals resistance to change, while understanding their time pressures. Additionally, issues relating to staffing levels, language differences and lack of research (WHO, 2007)need to be taken into account.
According to Prouse (1995 cited by Carayon,) the cost of a handover in an UK hospice was approximately £80, (with inflation £125 (This is Money, 2011)). Additionally, Burke (1999) suggested using taped handovers saves a ward £16,000 per annum, which may...
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...400 results when refined with quantitative or qualitative keywords. Lastly, CINAHL produced best results when using a basic search with 'nursing handover' used, resulting in 23 articles.
Each database requires different techniques, sometimes narrowing or opening the search parameters. Parameter of date and location were employed. Consequently, papers needed form 2001 onwards, original research and from the UK, thus avoiding cultural discrepancies and ensuring applicable to practice. Additionally, they needed to be hospital based and preferably in a ward setting.
The qualitative paper selected was 'A qualitative study of shift handover practice and function' (Kerr, 2001) and the quantitative paper was 'A Pilot study to show the loss of important data in nursing handover'(Pothier D., Monteiro P., Nooktlar M. et al., 2005). These will now be critiqued in turn.