Bedside Shift Report (+ Checklist)

Nursing Knowledge

Bedside Shift Report (+ Checklist)

Bedside shift reports are an essential part of nursing practice in inpatient healthcare settings. They involve a verbal hand-off report between nurses when a change of staff occurs, and are done on every client in a nurse’s care. Bedside shift reports provide important information about the client’s medical history, key events and plan of care, physical and mental condition, interventions, procedures, safety needs, and education. They ensure continuity of care and client safety. This guide provides a checklist of important steps to follow when conducting a verbal hand-off report.
Last updated: December 4, 2023

Table of contents

What is a bedside shift report?

A bedside shift report is a verbal hand-off report used in inpatient healthcare settings to hand over the clients to the next nurse when a change of staff occurs. 

A bedside shift report is done for every client in a nurse’s care, often in order of priority of the most critical to the least critical patient.

How to do a bedside report

  1. Knock on the client’s door before entering
  2. Introduce yourself and the nurse that is taking over the care of the client and explain what you are about to do
  3. Open the EHR 
  4. Conduct a verbal hand-off report

What information should be included in a good bedside shift report?

A good bedside shift report should include:

  • Identifying data (name, date of birth, room number)
  • Pertinent medical history (medications, allergies, and health conditions)
  • Key events and plan of care
  • Physical and mental condition from a recent assessment
  • Baseline condition
  • Completed, immediate, and upcoming interventions, procedures, safety needs, and education

What role does the client play in a bedside shift report?

Clients are encouraged to participate, ask questions, and share concerns. This helps provide an understanding of their condition and care plan, and ensures their needs are met.

What are potential challenges in conducting bedside shift reports?

Challenges can include privacy concerns, time constraints, and potential client discomfort. Nurses can ensure privacy by speaking quietly, using curtains, and asking for the client’s permission before discussing sensitive information.

Why is a bedside shift report important?

Bedside shift reports ensure that the incoming nurse is fully aware of the client’s condition and care plan, promoting continuity of care. This type of report (handoff) reduces errors and omissions in nursing care and improves client safety. It ensure effective communication among nurses and involve clients in their care since they are conducted at the bedside. 


Bedside Shift Report (+ Checklist)

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A concise checklist for how to do a bedshift report.

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