Keeping clients safe on the night shift
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Keeping clients safe on the night shift

Kathryn Gordon Case manager/staff nurse, Day Hospital, Addictions and Mental Health Services in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Sherri Melrose Associate professor, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada

Kathryn Gordon and Sherri Melrose present a checklist to assist nurses carrying out inpatient mental health admissions

The night shift admission checklist helps night nurses to maintain a culture of safety when admitting a person to an inpatient mental health unit. Mental health symptoms can be pronounced on admission but, on night shift, nurses seldom have the opportunity to seek direction from experienced mental health practitioners.

Routine safeguards are often adapted at night to promote clients’ sleep. Documentation to assess clients’ risks for self-harm, violence, comorbid medical conditions and prescribed medications may not be complete, although these are essential to maintain the person’s safety on the unit. Although each hospital will have individual admission policies, the checklist can be adapted to include these.

This article discusses safety issues at night and presents a checklist designed to promote safe care during night-time admission.

Mental Health Practice. 16, 5, 12-18. doi: 10.7748/mhp2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 11 November 2011

Accepted: 21 May 2012

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