A new study, ‘Tracing interpersonal discursive features in Australian nursing bedside handovers’ in English for Specific Purposes, reveals that outgoing and incoming nurses communicate differently in bedside handover depending on their role.
Through linguistic analysis of four case studies of naturally occurring bedside handovers, the study describes outgoing and incoming nurse communication behaviours and their impact on patient participation in bedside handover.
“We found that outgoing nurses showed more negative, disempowering language features. This kind of talk can create an unfriendly atmosphere which discourages patients from participating in handover,” explained linguist Dr Mary Dahm, ANU ICH Senior Research Fellow.
“In contrast, incoming nurses showed more positive, empowering language features. These can create a positive, friendly atmosphere which encourages patient participation in handover.”
Dr Dahm explained the differences in communication behaviours between outgoing and incoming nurses in terms of the different personal and health systems barriers nurses face at the shift change when they conduct handover.
The article is available at English for Specific Purposes or by contacting the lead author Dr Dahm at email@example.com.