Nurse Communication Handoff Pros And Cons

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Effective nurse communication handoff is crucial to maintain patient safety and improve health care outcomes. Handoffs can be in the form of written or verbal communication, with face-to-face communication being the preferred method. Previous history has found that a large majority of unintended patient injury was a direct cause of medical errors (Malekzadeh, Mazluom, Etezadi, & Tasseri, 2013). With this being said, bedside report between nurses and patients has been found to be the most effective way to decrease communication errors in order to promote patient engagement and increase patient safety (Birmingham, Buffum, Blegen, & Lyndon, 2015). In return, ethical principles such as autonomy, nonmaleficence and beneficence have been able to …show more content…
“Ethical decision making is a skill,” (Parker & McMillan, 2010); it is acting in a way that it morally safe and correct. It is something that as a nurse we must develop to act as a safe and effective practitioner. With this in mind, the ethical issues mentioned above, autonomy, nonmaleficence and beneficence, have various pros and cons that effect nursing communication handoff. Pros to these ethical issues include patient safety, advocacy, education, effective communication, individualization and the promotion of health. On the other hand, cons to the noted ethical issues are exhibited when dealing with psychiatric patients (ie: an unstable pt who is not in their right mind asking to die), legislation issues such as abortions, the nurse’s personal morals/values, et cetera (Porter-O’Grady & Malloch, 2016). Overall, there are many more positive outcomes associated with these ethical issues surrounding nursing handoff communication than there are negative. By discussing and learning the pros and cons related to the ethical issues surrounding nurse communication handoff, nurses are able to provide safe patient care, while also learning their own ethical beliefs and how they can impact health care as a …show more content…
Nonmaleficence means to do no harm, physically and emotionally (Youngberg, 2013). Beneficence on the other hand means to promote patient health through clear communication, patient reflection and addressing patient’s cultural needs (Ulrich, 2012). In other words, utilizing beneficence during nurse handoff communication to better patient care will in turn do no harm to that patient (ie: promote nonmaleficence). According to the American Nurses Association (2014), as nurses we must act on beneficence when providing patient care. Compared to autonomy being the patient’s primary right, these two ethical issues are the nurse’s primary responsibility in providing patient care (Arnold & Boggs, 2016). Health care providers can experience moral conflicts related to these ethical principles. For example, not all providers may agree with the treatment plan they must carry out with a patient but must fulfill it regardless because it is the right thing to do and will promote their patient’s health (Sorrell, 2017). An example of this would be withholding treatment (Arnold & Boggs, 2016); although a healthcare professional may not agree with this ethically, it is not their decision to make, as it is the patient’s. Another example of how promoting nonmaleficence and beneficence can better patient care is when utilizing a communication handoff tool at bedside. Youngberg (2013)

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