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SBAR – What Is It And Where Is It Used?

Hi, my name is Kapilraj Ravendran, and I am an IMG from Bulgaria, and I plan to work for the NHS as I am a UK national. This blog will explain:

• What is SBAR?

• Where and why is it used?

What is SBAR?

SBAR stands for Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation. It is a technique that provides a template for healthcare staff to discuss and communicate regarding a patient's condition. Using it allows the giver of information to provide information to the receiver without being interrupted. It helps to make communication clear in a clinical setting.

Where and How to Use SBAR?

An example of the Situation would be, "This is Kapilraj, a junior foundation doctor in X ward. The reason why I am calling is that Mr. X in room Z has suddenly become short of breath, Sat02 has dropped to 86%, RR is 24 per minute, HR 115, and BP 80/55. He has been placed on 6L of oxygen, SatO2 is now 94%, and his breathing has increased. He is very anxious, breath sounds clear, and RR is still above 20."

An example of Background would be, "Mr. X, who had a heart attack two weeks ago and was admitted yesterday for observation due to new complaints of chest pain. His pulse is 124, and his blood pressure is 100/58. He is restless and experiences rapid, shallow breathing."

An example of Assessment would be, "Mr. X's current observations are Temp: 37.1 °C, Pulse: 120, BP: 150/96, Resps: 28, SPO2: 92%. He also looks a little flushed. I think he is showing signs of circulatory overload, so I have stopped the transfusion for now and administered oxygen. I note that he wasn't prescribed a diuretic on this admission."

An example of a Recommendation would be, "If the edema does not resolve within 24 hours, I'd like to ask Dr. Y to order a new chest x-ray to determine if there is any pulmonary compromise. Also, I'd like to update the nursing care plan with two new nursing diagnoses: excess fluid volume related to pitting edema and orthopnea and activity intolerance related to dyspnea on exertion, and include interventions for each diagnosis to be implemented immediately. Do you agree?"

SBAR can be used anywhere – inpatient or outpatient, urgent or non-urgent settings, over the phone with another medical profession, handover, escalating a concern, etc.

Need Any More Advice?

If you have any questions about SBAR, I would be happy to answer them at

You can register using this link:

Find me as an Ambassador and follow my profile – Kapilraj Ravendran - to receive regular support and advice.

You can also find more information about SBAR at:


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