Evid Based Nurs 9:128 doi:10.1136/ebn.9.4.128
  • Qualitative

“Packaging” information about patient deterioration in terms of vital signs and the Early Warning Score facilitated nurses’ communication with doctors

 Q How do nurses use vital signs and the Early Warning Score (EWS) to report physiological deterioration in patients to ensure successful referral to doctors?


Grounded theory.


A surgical ward and a general medical ward in an inner city university teaching hospital in the UK.


30 nurses, 7 doctors, and 7 healthcare support workers.


Participants were interviewed for 30–80 minutes with open ended questions that were modified using the process of theoretical sensitivity and theoretical sampling. Data were also collected from conversations with staff and observations of on-duty staff (3–8 h). Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed, and thematically coded. 83 conceptual categories and subcategories were generated and integrated by the process of constant comparison.


Nurses ensured successful referral of patients to doctors by providing credible evidence about patients’ physiological deterioration—making …

No Related Web Pages

Free Sample

This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of EBN.
View free sample issue >>

EBN Journal Chat

The EBN Journal Chat offers readers the opportunity to participate in discussion about research articles and commentaries from Evidence Based Nursing (EBN).

How to participate >>

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the articles as they are published.

Navigate This Article