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What problems can an ineffective handover cause?

  • Comments (5)


Collins G (2014) Using simulation to develop handover skills. Nursing Times; 110: 8, 12-14.


“This article outlines the potential impact of ineffective handover skills on nurses’ confidence, competence and coordination, as well as on patient safety.
It focuses on how student nurses can develop their communication skills, reporting on how the University of Derby used simulation to teach pre-registration student nurses effective handover techniques.”

Let’s discuss…

  • What problems can an ineffective handover cause?
  • What common mistakes do people make when handing over?
  • How can students develop their communication skills?
  • Comments (5)

Readers' comments (5)

  • Anonymous

    Delays to main theatres pre and post op

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  • tinkerbell

    clear, concise, non-jargon handovers, being able to prioritise what needs to be known by everyone and highlighting specific risks followed by 'any questions?'.

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  • Anonymous

    Can cause all sorts of problems from medical to social. I always handed over in the same pattern as I wrote my notes; obs, meds, in/out put, social. With a system you are less likely to forget and it prioritises need.

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  • Anonymous

    our office was so small nurses ended up sitting on each others laps and use the occasion to groom each other at the same time instead of listening properly to the report and then proceeding to gossip about our highly experienced and competent night nurse once she had left.

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  • Anonymous

    anon 8.04 - I've seen that too, handover can be very intimidating when you have staff who are not listening or are not at all interested - I've seen staff looking through the rota, annual leave requests, mobile phoning or fiddling on the computer - it's childish, rude and unprofessional.
    With the best will in the world can a nurse remember to handover every single thing, we are all so busy with so many things all happening at once - me, I prefer a short to the point office handover followed by a more detailed bedside handover to the nurses looking after those patients but it doesn't happen.
    we try and update our handover sheet as we go along but it's full of constant changes and communication can be bad so half the time you don't know what's going on anyway until you either read the notes or the patient tells you something.

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