Coping Behaviors and Collaboration among Staff of Multiple Occupation Classifications during Norovirus
In December 2012 a norovirus infection outbreak occurred in the Orthopedic Surgery Ward of Hospital A in Japan. This study aims to establish details of coping behaviors used by nurses, physicians, physiotherapists, and pharmacists of the facility, and examine the issues involved in infection control by team collaboration as well as the ways employed to deal with the infections. Participants in this study were thirty-seven medical professionals who were working in the Orthopedic Surgery Ward of Hospital A at the time the infection outbreak occurred, and who were still working there when the interviews were conducted. Interviews were conducted from January to April 2015, and the data from the interviews were analyzed using the “Trend Search 2008” text mining software. As a result of the analysis it was found that the nurses primarily communicated information by passing messages to the nurses who took over the duty at shift changes, but did not pass on the information to staff in other occupations or to the ward as a whole. The nurses clearly remembered that the ward was closed and it was a difficult experience, but did not remember details of the patients they were in charge of. The physicians clearly remembered individual patients they were in charge of, but they were not aware of the situation and state throughout the ward. The findings suggest that this difference is due to the differences in the occupational nature and sense of values of the staff involved. It is also found that physiotherapists did not feel a sense of crisis about the norovirus outbreak because they felt the patients in the ward appeared to be in better condition than patients in other wards, and that pharmacists lacked communication with staff in other occupations because they usually have heavy workloads. In concept mappings of physicians, physiotherapists, and pharmacists, the keyword <nurses> places in the center of the maps, and is linked to <information> and <report>. Because the nurse plays a central role to report information among the four occupations, nurses should be aware of and assigned to play the role to coordinate team collaboration.