|30-Second Head-to-Toe Tool in Pediatric Nursing: Cultivating Safety
In Handoff Communication
Efforts to improve handoff practices among providers during shift changes are
needed to augment patient safety, particularly among pediatric patients. To this
aim, nurse faculty developed and enhanced a tool to standardize a thinking
process for students during their pediatric clinical experience. The 30-Second
Head-to-Toe checklist allows for rapid assessment of a child's condition and environment.
It offers both students and nurses a consistent system for reducing
errors attributable to incomplete or inaccurate information during this critical transition.
Students completed checklists for 352 pediatric patients over a period of
two years. Identified discrepancies were analyzed. Findings confirmed the importance
of a standardized system during shift changes to reduce errors and
achieve accurate, consistent communication. Students also reported that using
the tool and reviewing it with instructors helped them overcome initial feelings of
anxiety and fostered confidence.