Done well, ward rounds (WRs) promote effective, safe care and collaboration; but WR quality varies. An improvement-focused appreciative inquiry (AI) into a large intensive care unit’s WR practices identified a pivotal axis of collaboration between the most senior medical role (the consultant) and the bedside nurse (BSN). This paper examines that axis of interprofessional collaboration (IPC) to deepen understanding of its implications. Data included ethnographic observations, interviews, and co-constructed AI with groups of staff. Four key concepts emerged from cyclical interpretive analysis: “need,” “presence,” “ability” and “willingness.” BSNs and consultants needed the interprofessional WR to enable their work; WR effectiveness was affected by whether they were both present, then able and willing to participate in IPC. BSN presence was necessary for effective and efficient IPC between these key roles. Indirect contributions, based on prior exchanges with colleagues or through written notes, reduced the joint problem-solving through discussion and negotiation that characterizes IPC to less efficient asynchronous interprofessional coordination. Factors affecting “presence,” “ability” and “willingness” are discussed alongside potential mitigations and acknowledgment of asymmetric power. Appreciative examination of interprofessional WRs identified mechanisms supporting and undermining effective WR IPC and the centrality of consultants’ and BSNs’ collaboration.
Department of Nursing
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-04-11