Warfarin Communication Toolkit for Nurses

This toolkit introduces a new set of training materials—presentations, exercises—as well as resources to help you adapt what you learn to your practice setting. The materials are based on the principles of effective standardized communication that includes these components: Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation (SBAR).

The materials will teach about how to use SBAR to improve communication about warfarin. The skills taught have applications for other clinical areas as well; SBAR has been used to address a variety of communication challenges in diverse settings.


Structured Communication About Warfarin and Patient Safety

This presentation addresses the basics of warfarin management for nurses (PDF, 1.62 MB) and introduces the structured communication technique of SBAR.

Focused Assertive Communication for Nurses

This presentation addresses common challenges to communication (PDF, 1.25 MB) that nurses face in the nursing home. These are based on interviews with many nurses in the long-term care setting. This presentation also offers strategies for addressing these challenges and recommendations for assertive communication.

Training Tools

Watch the presentations before starting the exercises and role-play.

SBAR Exercise

Practice how to complete an SBAR form using data from a mock medical record.

  1. Open and read the Mock Medical Record.
  2. Download the blank SBAR Form (PDF, 37.8 KB) and complete it with the relevant information about our patient, Mrs. Moynahan, who is in the video presentation.
  3. Download the Sample Completed SBAR Form (PDF, 50.7 KB) to see how well you did.

Role Plays

The role-plays are intended to apply the concepts you’ve learned and to help your staff feel more comfortable talking assertively with physicians by using the structured SBAR approach.

Below is a list of scenarios in which a nurse and doctor must communicate over the telephone about a patient on warfarin. Taking 15 minutes or so, choose a partner and take turns playing the roles of the nurse and doctor in each of the scenarios. If you are playing the nurse, use the accompanying completed SBAR forms as guides with you speak with the "doctor."

Adapting the SBAR Training Toolkit to Your Long-Term Care Facility

Page last reviewed March 2017
Page originally created March 2017
Internet Citation: Warfarin Communication Toolkit for Nurses. Content last reviewed March 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/chain/practice-tools/cardiovascular-risk/warfarin-communication-toolkit-for-nurses.html
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