The sound of silence--nurses' non-verbal interaction within the ward round

Nurs Crit Care. Nov-Dec 2003;8(6):231-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1362-1017.2003.00038.x.


This study describes nurses' non-verbal interaction in the ward round within intensive care. Data were collected through participant observation, fieldwork notes and ethnographic interview techniques from eight intensive care nurses. This article focuses on the themes 'Being there', 'Knowing the script', 'Knowing what you want from the ward round' and 'Silencing and gaze', which emerged from the data. A key issue highlighted in this study is that nurses need to recognize their contribution to patient management decisions within the ward round. Drawing from the data, educational and training strategies are suggested to enhance collaborative practice in the clinical setting of intensive care.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • Assertiveness
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Critical Care / organization & administration
  • Decision Making, Organizational
  • England
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hospitals, District
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Nonverbal Communication / psychology*
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Physician-Nurse Relations*
  • Power, Psychological
  • Qualitative Research
  • Surveys and Questionnaires