Training in communication and interaction during shift-to-shift nursing handovers in a bilingual hospital : A case study

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

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  • Jack Pun
  • E. Angela Chan
  • Suzanne Eggins
  • Diana Slade

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Article number104212
Journal / PublicationNurse Education Today
Online published19 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


Aim: To explore the perceptions and practices of nurses on handovers.
Background: At handover, accountability must be transferred to ensure a consistent quality of patient care. Studies highlighted unstructured handovers as a major factor contributing to critical incidents. The design of handover training requires a systematic method for evaluating nurses’ practices.
Design: An explorative case study, qualitative design that combined ethnography with discourse analysis.
Methods: A training programme based on these practices was administered to 50 nurses, and a protocol focused on CARE was implemented. The nurses’ perceptions and practices were evaluated, and 80 handovers were recorded. 
Results: Three areas likely to enhance the continuity of care emerged: 1) explicit transfer of responsibility by outgoing nurses; 2) responsible engagement of incoming nurses in the handover and 3) adherence to a systematic handover structure.
Conclusion: The change in practice from monologic handovers with passive incoming nurses before training to interactive and collaborative handovers, where all nurses appeared to take an active role in clarifying patients’ cases, after training was significant.

Research Area(s)

  • clinical handover, communication, perceptions, nursing, patient safety, bilingual, discourse analysis, ethnography