How Writing Records Reduces Clinical Knowledge: A Field Study of Psychiatric Hospital Wards

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Abstract

Through the practices of recording, psychiatric nurses produce clinical knowledge about the patients in their care. The objective of this study was to examine the conventionalized practices of recording among psychiatric nurses and the typical linguistic organization of their records. The study drew on data from an extended fieldwork on two Danish "special observation" wards. The results indicated that the nurses' recording produced "stereotyping" representations of the patients and reduced the nurses' clinical knowledge but that this particular way of recording made good sense in relation to the social organization at the wards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Psychiatric Nursing
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

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