Speaker: Professor Catherine Pope, Prof of Medical Sociology in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton.
Insights from the everyday practice of ethnography in emergency care
This paper will draw together my thoughts about the practicalities of doing ethnography in
emergency care and trauma care settings in the NHS. I plan to talk about three studies. First I will
describe my experiences studying ambulance handover communication in a project which included observations of over 200 ambulance journeys and interviews with crew, hospital staff and patients. Then I will describe a recently completed project that used observation to evaluate the implementation of an innovative checklist for ‘minors’ (ambulatory) patients attending the
Emergency Department. Finally, I will look at my new role as researcher-in-residence in the Regional Trauma Centre. In describing these projects I want to untangle some knotty issues about doing research in healthcare settings and, in particular, to contrast the idealised versions of methodology and research ethics with the rather messier and complicated realities of everyday ethnographic conduct.
Catherine Pope is Professor of Medical Sociology in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton where she leads Emergency and Urgent Care (EmU) research and is a member of the NIHR CLAHRC Wessex. Her research focuses on healthcare work and the organisation and delivery of health services. She has a researcher-in-residence role in the Wessex Regional Trauma Centre. Catherine has played a leading role in developing qualitative methods and evidence synthesis in health services research and contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate education across health and social sciences and for the Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training.
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