Ask the care expert: post-shift reporting methods and alternatives

Share this content:
Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
At our facility we do a “recorded” nurse report at the end of each shift. Some nurses are not very good at recording this information and I feel like I may be missing a lot by their lack of reporting skills. Can you suggest another reporting option?

As we know, every facility in the long-term care arena is unique. However, that said, we also all have similar problems, and one of those problems is the “report.”

Unfortunately, nurses sometimes rush through this crucial piece because it is at the end of their day, after much has happened, when they are late picking kids up from daycare, or for an appointment or even late for another job.

As we all know, we don't ever seem to get out on time, no matter how fast we go, or how many corners we seem to trim.

I believe a flow sheet that gets completed by everyone—not just the nurse in charge—works well because, if done properly, the charge nurse can even learn from the sheet. The sheet would include the names of residents who have had temperatures, catheters, wounds, antibiotics, antipsychotics,  changes in their condition, as well as weights and vitals.

The sheet can be set up as simply or elaborately as you want it. Remember that before you decide to collect the information just to have it, you must make sure you really need it or will be using it. I caution you against collecting so much, and leaving blanks. Blanks always set us up for failure.

If you are collecting this same information on the MAR/TAR, don't make the staff rewrite it.

Get the information from where it is already documented. Staff members are busy enough now without us giving them more busy work.

(See more on this topic in the next issue of McKnight's.)