Nursing clinical handover in neonatal care
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Background: Clinical handover ensures continuity of care, providing the opportunity to transfer responsibility and accountability for the care of a patient from nurse to nurse. Aim: The aim of this study was to examine afternoon nursing clinical handover from the perspective of nurses, exploring the quality of information, the interactions and support, the efficiency and the involvement of parents in a private neonatal unit. Methods/Design: An exploratory, descriptive, prospective quantitative survey with qualitative elements was undertaken using The Handover Evaluation Scale (O'Connell, MacDonald, & Kelly, 2008). All nurses working in the Neonatal unit who attend afternoon handover, were invited to participate in the study (N = 22), with N = 16 responses received. Results/Findings: The quantitative and qualitative results indicate that the quality of the information handed over in neonatal care units can be maintained despite intrinsic limitations. Additionally, high levels of support and interaction between nursing staffin this stressful practice environment occur during the handover period. Conclusion: Given the vulnerability of neonates it is important that accurate information is efficiently handed over. In order to do this distractions should be minimised. Finally, parental involvement in handover should be actively encouraged whenever feasible.
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