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The Reality of Teamwork in an Acute Mental Health Ward

Authors

  • Maureen Deacon RN, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Maureen Deacon, RN, PhD, is a Professor, Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of Chester, Warrington Campus, Warrington, UK; and Michelle Cleary, RN, PhD, is an Associate Professor, National University of Singapore, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Singapore.
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  • Michelle Cleary RN, PhD

    1. Maureen Deacon, RN, PhD, is a Professor, Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of Chester, Warrington Campus, Warrington, UK; and Michelle Cleary, RN, PhD, is an Associate Professor, National University of Singapore, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Singapore.
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Conflict of Interest Statement

  • The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.

m.deacon@chester.ac.uk, with a copy to the Editor: gpearson@uchc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:  The study aims to explore the activities of mental health nurses in an acute inpatient ward. Teamwork emerged as one of several important matters for analysis.

DESIGN AND METHODS:  Ethnography and data collection took place through participant observation. This included recording of naturally occurring talk.

FINDINGS:  Three themes emerged: nurses' continuing attention to teamwork, the handover, and the team meeting. The vast potential of information to be communicated across the nursing team was observed to result in the use of summarizing practices. These appeared to mitigate nurses' ability to give sophisticated accounts of their evident expertise in multidisciplinary meetings.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:  Nurses should be challenged to articulate their interventions and display their work within the acute mental health setting.

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