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Int J Nurs Pract. 2011 Aug;17(4):342-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2011.01947.x.

Examination of current handover practice: evidence to support changing the ritual.

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  • 1Victoria University, St Albans, Victoria, Australia. deb.kerr@vu.edu.au


Examining systems of nursing handover provides the opportunity to identify areas in need of improvement and modification. The aim of this study was to describe nursing handover practices for one organization and explore clinical nurses' opinions regarding the quality of the current shift-to-shift handover style. One hundred and fifty-three registered nurses employed in 23 wards in an acute tertiary hospital in Australia completed a survey. The survey collected information about demographic data, current methods and preferences for style of handover and opinions about the quality of nursing handover. This study found that existing handover practice is time-consuming, lacks patient involvement and essential information, and is varied in style. Only one ward (4.3%) conducted handover at the bedside. The majority (82%) expressed reluctance to change their current handover style. Modification of existing nursing handover is needed but might be challenging in view of the reluctance to change this ritual.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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