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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?

DESIGN

Grounded theory.

SETTING

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

PARTICIPANTS

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

METHODS

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.

MAIN FINDINGS

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

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