Nursing report sheets, also commonly referred to as brain sheets or patient report sheets, are a valuable pre-made tool that nurses can use during a shift to keep important patient information. Truthfully, a report sheet is essential to making it through any shift.
Keep reading to learn more about nursing report sheets and get free templates you can use!
A nursing report sheet is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a customized sheet that contains important information regarding the patient and their medical history.
How Nurses Use Brain Sheets
Essentially, it is used to tell you the “down and dirty” about your patient. While every nurse should be going through their patient’s charts at the beginning of the shift and then throughout the shift, a nursing report sheet can be used to keep tasks and “to-do’s” organized.
How Hospitals Use Them
Some hospitals will have one nursing report sheet that will get updated each shift with a specific patient, while others hospitals will expect nurses to write a new report sheet with each shift.
Report sheets may go with the patient when transferred between units and are ultimately discarded when the patient is discharged.
What’s included on a nursing report sheet varies depending on the hospital, unit, and the individual. It will depend on the expectations and policies of the hospital, and it’s important to speak to the nurse educator to determine the unit’s best practices.
Examples of what to include on a nursing report sheet include,
- Patient Information, including name, date of birth, room number
- Medical diagnosis
- Attending medical provider/coverage team
- Vital Signs
- Lab results, pending lab work
- Important procedures
- Family information
- To-do(s) for shift
- Nursing notes
Nursing report sheets can be the key to success when organizing information about your patients, especially if you work on a medical-surgical floor and have a higher patient/nurse ratio.
There are some key benefits of the nursing report sheet, including,
- Provide accountability
- Improving the safety of the patient
- Standardized report
- Fast access to patient information
- Keeping charting organized
- Organizing patient care
Some nurses will read it from top to bottom, while others will organize it based on systems.
Personally, most experienced nurses will organize their report sheets based on systems. Double-sided report sheets are even better, with one side having all the patient and medical information and the reverse side having an hourly checklist to help organize your shift.
To use a nursing report sheet, first start by including the information you can find in the chart, including basic patient personal information and health history. The remainder can be filled out during the shift report or after spending some time looking at the chart.