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Interprofessional collaboration during an emergency ward’s rounds

Kaija Collin (Department of Education, University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, Finland)
Sanna Herranen (Department of Education, University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, Finland)
Ulla Maija Valleala (Department of Teacher Education, University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, Finland)
Susanna Paloniemi (Department of Education, University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, Finland)

International Journal of Emergency Services

ISSN: 2047-0894

Article publication date: 12 October 2015



The purpose of this paper is to explore interprofessional collaboration during ward rounds on a Finnish emergency and infection ward from the viewpoint of three central professional groups: physicians, nurses and secretaries.


The authors utilise an ethnographically informed approach, with observations and interviews as the data collection devices. The data comprise ten interviews with staff members and ten hours of observations. The data were analysed using qualitative thematic analysis.


The ward rounds were found to be rather physician- and medicine-centred, and mostly not interprofessional. Nurses and secretaries in particular expressed dissatisfaction with many of the current ward rounds work practices. Ward rounds are an essential part of collaboration in implementing the emergency-natured operational aim of the ward, yet we found that the ward rounds are complicated by diverging professional views and expectations, variable work practices and interactional inequality.


This study makes a contribution to the research of collaboration in emergency care and ward rounds, both of which are little-studied fields. Further, context-specific studies of collaboration have been called for in order to eventually create a model of shared expertise. The findings of this study can be utilised in studying and developing emergency care contexts.



This work has been supported by the Finnish Work Environment Fund (Project No. 109295).


Collin, K., Herranen, S., Valleala, U.M. and Paloniemi, S. (2015), "Interprofessional collaboration during an emergency ward’s rounds", International Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 212-226.



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