Create Stability Through Routine: Nursing Shift Change


Nursing shift changes are a daily occurrence; however, for elderly patients who are suffering from dementia or are hard of hearing, a change in nursing staff may cause anxiety and uncertainty. Where is Nurse Jane going? Will the new nurse know that I usually go for a walk in the afternoon, or that I don’t like the taste of milk? While many hospitals have shift change protocol (such as writing names on a white board) some patient’s may require an extra kind word or attention: a picture of the next nurse to jog the memory and help with recognition or a simple phrase indicating that the next nurse is aware of the patient’s preferences. Routinely practiced, small communication details such as these help create stability in change, comforting patients and improving their care.

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