What Are You Struggling With?
Care Plan TemplateGrab the Free CheatsheetWant a free nursing care plan template?

The Ultimate Guide to Creating an ICU Report Sheet (for new Critical Care Nurses and RN Students)

I began my career in the Neurosurgical ICU at a large Level I Trauma Hospital in Dallas – FW.

I can still vividly remember my first night on the unit.  I was terrified.  But I was filled with a (bad) sense of hubris.  I had done well in my Second Degree BSN program and felt that I could catch on well to anything that was thrown at me.

Opps . . .

Real life nursing is a freaking slap in the face to what I had been exposed to as a student.  . . . we won’t get into that too much here . . . today I just want to share with you how I learned to give stellar reports in the intensive care unit.

Giving Hand-Off Report in the ICU

Luckily, I had an amazing preceptor.  During the first few shifts she sat closely behind my shoulder to monitor where my skills and knowledge base were currently at, acting as a resource as needed.

After our long first shift . . . where I quickly realized how little I actually knew about nursing in the real world . . . we did a quick debriefing together.  She said that her goal was to have me become a master of giving hand-off report.  With that she gave me a report sheet template that has become my go-to.

Now years later I still require new nurses and nursing students to fill that same ICU report sheet out as the shift goes on and prior to giving report to the on coming nurse.

Those nurses that latch on to this method for giving report become masters of the nursing shift report.  Here is the template that we use:

icu report sheet template hand off

You can download this report sheet template for free:

Click Here to Download

Or you can purchase it along with our Nursing Student ToolBox:

View the Nursing Student ToolBoxOn Amazon

How to Give an ICU Handoff Report

This report sheet is designed specifically for critical care nurses but it would work in any nursing setting.  Here are the steps to a great ICU handoff report:

  • Know your patient and their history
  • Go through body systems (head to skin)
  • What is the plan
  • What are the family dynamics

This is really all that you need to do to give an amazing report . . . and you need to do it in this order.  The problem many nurses run into is that there is SO MUCH to know and to keep straight and they don’t have or stick to a basic format before they open their mouth and start talking.

Many experienced nurses struggle with this as well.  Nothing helps you start your shift on the right foot like getting an organized report . . . and an organized report really comes down to knowing the basics . . . and having a method or pattern that you stick to.

That is exactly what this template provides you with . . . a system to help extract all the information that you need to provide for the oncoming nurse.

I want you to download this chart and begin to use it immediately in your clinicals.  .  .

Nursing Student ToolBox

We recently released the Nursing Student ToolBox to help nurses and nursing students find have the exact tools that they need to find success on the clinical floor.

This tool kit is packed full of tons of tools that will help you stay organized and find success on the floor and in the class room.

Here is a quick video to introduce it to you!

View the Nursing Student ToolBoxOn Amazon

You’re Turn

What tools and references are you using to give killer hand off reports in the ICU?  Tell me below.

 

Care Plan TemplateWant a free nursing care plan template?
Grab the Free Cheatsheet

Date Published - Nov 21, 2015
Date Modified - Jun 25, 2018

Jon Haws RN

Written by Jon Haws RN

Jon Haws RN began his nursing career at a Level I Trauma ICU in DFW working as a code team nurse, charge nurse, and preceptor. Frustrated with the nursing education process, Jon started NRSNG in 2014 with a desire to provide tools and confidence to nursing students around the globe. When he's not busting out content for NRSNG, Jon enjoys spending time with his two kids and wife.