Views And Reviews

Why we should avoid handover hostility

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 20 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1272
  1. Andrew Al-Rais, anaesthetic registrar ST6
  1. London

No patient has died from lack of manners, but rudeness among staff can affect performance

As I arrived in resus the tension was palpable. A familiar interplay was evolving in the paediatric bay: the “handover standoff.” On one side stood a tired transfer team, accompanying an intubated toddler with intracranial pathology. They had spent a couple of hours doing complex tasks in a stressful environment while organising beds, personnel, and transport—the critical care transfer ballet so often staged in hospital. To me the transfer team seemed to have done an excellent job and were now well placed to receive our plaudits. Perhaps even a cup of tea.

Instead they faced a wall of various …

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