Accounting for actions and omissions: a discourse analysis of student nurse accounts of responding to instances of poor care

Source:  Journal of Advanced Nursing [epub ahead of print]

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Date of publication:  January 2016

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  Failure to report cases of poor care may have serious consequences for patient safety. The aim of this study was to explore how nursing students account for decisions to report or not report poor care witnessed on placement and to examine the implications of findings for educators.

The findings were that participants took care to present themselves in a positive light regardless of whether or not they had reported an episode of concern. Those who had reported tended to attribute their actions to internal factors such as moral strength and a commitment to a professional code. Those who had not or would not report concerns provided accounts which referred to external influences that prevented them from doing so or made reporting pointless.

This study provides information about how students account for their actions and omissions in relation to the reporting of poor care. Findings suggest ways educators might increase reporting of concerns.

Length of publication:  Unspecified

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