The Reality of Teamwork in an Acute Mental Health Ward

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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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