Home OSCE Practical Examination OSCE – SBAR HANDING OVER



SBAR is an effective communication tool widely used in healthcare settings, particularly in nursing, to facilitate clear and concise handovers between healthcare professionals. The acronym stands for Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation. It offers a structured way to convey crucial patient information, ensuring a smooth transfer of care and minimizing the risk of errors. Let’s break down each component of SBAR in the context of nursing handovers:

1. Situation:

This is a concise statement of the patient’s current condition and the reason for the handover. It provides a snapshot of what’s happening right now. For example:

– My name is Roy Kyei Boateng, a registered nurse calling from Male ward 2B

   – “I’m handing over Mr. Smith, a 65-year-old male with hospital number 0001112228 in male ward, who was admitted with chest pain. His vitals are stable, but he reported increased discomfort an hour ago.”

2. Background:

Here, you provide relevant background information about the patient’s medical history, recent events, and any contextual details that might be essential for the incoming nurse to understand. This could include: – date of admission: ‘’He was admitted on 14/6/23

   – Diagnosis and medical history: “He has a history of hypertension and underwent coronary artery bypass surgery last year.” He has coronary artery disease

   – Recent events: “He received nitroglycerin for chest pain relief earlier today.”

   – Allergies or sensitivities: “He’s allergic to penicillin.”

3. Assessment:

This is where you detail your assessment of the patient’s current condition. Include relevant data, test results, and observations. This could involve:

   – Vital signs: “His blood pressure is 130/80 mmHg, resp. is 18 cpm, heart rate is 80 bpm, and oxygen saturation is 96% on room air.” NEWS 0

   – Symptoms: “He’s currently experiencing mild radiating chest discomfort, rated 3/10 in severity.”

   – Lab or test results: “His troponin levels came back slightly elevated.”

4. Recommendation:

Offer clear and actionable recommendations for the patient’s continued care. This helps the receiving nurse understand what steps to take next. Suggestions could include:

   – Medications: “Administer his daily dose of aspirin and arrange for a repeat troponin test in six hours.”

   – Monitoring: “Keep a close watch on his pain level and any changes in vital signs. Notify the doctor if pain worsens or any concerning trends appear.”

   – Interventions: “Consider an ECG if the pain intensifies, and notify the cardiologist on call.”

Effective SBAR handovers involve maintaining a professional and focused tone, staying concise, and ensuring that critical information is accurately conveyed. This communication technique enhances patient safety and continuity of care, as it helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures that all team members are on the same page regarding the patient’s condition and needs.

Patient Life Matters | Patient Life Matters


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here