You’re only as good as your handover part I

It doesn’t matter how much your patient improved since you took them on. That you had to do some pretty complex problem solving to get them where they are in one piece doesn’t matter either.

None of it matters if it isn’t discussed in handover.

In ambulance especially, other members of the treatment team don’t know much at all about the patient unless you tell them. They didn’t see the car crash. They haven’t been inside the freezing house in the middle of winter. They didn’t count a resp rate greater than 40 or measure a bp of 55 when you first arrived.

We have to paint a picture for them. You could find out a lot of awesome information from bystanders, the patient, things that may seem useless but are actually vital.

You could have performed lots of things very quickly and done lots of interventions, but if you umm and ahh all the way through, throwing out bits of information all over the shop guess what?

No one will listen to you.

By giving a poor handover you are forcing the rest of your team to submit the patient to an entirely new assessment, without the benefits of bystanders, living environment or pre-treatment symptoms.

It makes a busy persons life harder, and makes you look like a tool, because it’s selfish.

It portrays that you don’t think the other staff member or patient’s time is valuable enough for you to do a proper handover.

This is the same for a ‘sick’ patient, just as much as a not sick one, because if you give crappy handovers most of the time, they won’t listen to you when you want them to.

Simple as that.


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