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Nursing bedside report


You are an important part of your child’s care when your child is in the hospital. If you have questions, concerns, or information you think would help, please tell your child’s doctor or nurse. This helps your child get the best care possible. One time to share questions, concerns, and information is during a regular activity called “bedside report.”

What is bedside report?

Bedside report is when the nurses going on and off duty meet at your child’s bedside. They talk about your child’s care. The nurse going off duty has been taking care of your child. So this nurse tells the nurse coming on duty what is happening. This helps the new nurse know what to expect or do.

Bedside report gives you a chance to meet the nurse who will take care of your child for the next shift. A shift lasts 12 hours. You can ask questions and share information with your child’s nurses. But you should know that bedside report is not the only time you can do this. You can talk to members of your child’s health care team any time.

When does bedside report happen?

Bedside report happens when nurses change work shifts. This usually happens at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Bedside report takes 5 to 10 minutes.

Who can be in the room during bedside report?

You and other parents or caregivers. If your child has visitors, the nurses will ask them to leave unless you say they can stay.

What should I expect at bedside report?

The nurses will introduce themselves to you and anyone with you. The nurse coming on duty will write their name on the white board in your child’s room. The nurses will ask you if you want to ask questions or share information. You can also decide who else can do this. For example, if your child’s other parent is in the room, you might want them to share information too. The nurse coming on duty will check your child’s armband and make sure the name, age, and medical record number are correct. The nurse going off duty will tell the new nurse:

  • Why your child is in the hospital, such as for chemotherapy or a fever,
  • Your child’s medical history,
  • Any allergies your child has,
  • The care plan,
  • Medicines to be given,
  • Scheduled tests,
  • Important lab results, and
  • Anything else the new nurse should know.

If you have questions or concerns, or want to add other information on your child’s care, you can do so now.

What the nurses check at bedside report

The nurses will check your child’s medicines. They will also check any intravenous (IV) or central lines and drains. They will check your child’s skin, dressings (bandages), and anything else that is part of your child’s care. They will also check your child’s pain level and make sure your child is safe. The nurses will ask you what could have gone better during the last shift. They will also ask what you hope will happen on the next shift. For example, you might hope your child can take a walk around the nursing unit that day. The new nurse will try to help you meet your goals. They will encourage you to ask questions and share your concerns.

What should you do at bedside report?

  • Listen. You are an important part of your child’s health care team. We want to make sure you have full information on your child’s care, and you have it at the right time.
  • Speak up. If you have questions or concerns, bedside report is the perfect time to talk about them. St. Jude wants to make sure your child gets the best care. If you are concerned about the quality of your child’s care, your child’s safety, or anything else, please tell us.
  • Ask questions. If the nurses use words or talk about things you don’t understand, feel free to ask for an explanation. Please ask us if you have been wondering about something.

If bedside shift report does not happen, please tell the nurse manager or coordinator.


If you have questions or concerns about bedside report, talk to your child’s nurses.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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