5 years ago

Handing over patients from the ICU to the general ward: A focused ethnographical study of nurses' communication practice

Bibi Hølge-Hazelton, Tina Bitsch Hansen, Gitte Bunkenborg
Aim To explore nursing practice and perception of engaging in communicative interaction when handing over multi-morbid patients from the ICU to general medical or surgical wards. Background Communication failures impose risks to patient safety. ICU and general ward nurses communicate in writing and verbally when handing over patients from one setting to another. A deeper understanding of nurses' communicative interaction and of nurses' perception of their interaction is crucial to facilitate clinical interventions focusing to improve patient safety. Design An explorative, qualitative design using focused ethnography was applied to the study. Methods Participant observation of 22 clinical situations of handing over patients from the ICU to general wards was conducted in November and December 2015, followed by five focus group interviews, three interviews with general ward nurses and two with ICU nurses in January–February 2016. Observation notes and interview transcripts were analysed using content analysis. Findings The theme “Communicative interaction as a process of sharing and adopting ownership” and the subtheme “Communicative interaction influenced by nurses individual expectations towards patient status and the handing over process” emerged from observation notes. From transcribed focus group interviews, the theme “Balancing and negotiating when passing on, consuming and adapting knowledge” was identified. Conclusion A lack of shared goals regarding handing over patients from a high monitoring unit to general wards causes communicative and collaborative difficulties, loss of information and potential risks to patients. Organizational attention in relation to ICU discharge is crucial to improve collaboration, communication and patient safety.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/jan.13377

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.