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Nurses' perceptions of multitasking in the emergency department: Effective, fun and unproblematic (at least for me): a qualitative study
Karolinska Institutet.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Cardiovascular epidemiology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research. School of Nursing, University of Adelaide.
Karolinska institutet. (LIME/MME)
2015 (English)In: International Emergency Nursing, ISSN 1755-599X, E-ISSN 1878-013X, Vol. 23, no 2, 59-64 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


The aim was to understand how multitasking is experienced by registered nurses and how it relates to their everyday practice in the emergency department.


Interviews with open-ended questions were conducted with registered nurses (n = 9) working in one of two included emergency departments in Sweden. Data were analyzed using Schilling's structured model for qualitative content analysis.


Three core concepts related to multitasking emerged from the interviews: 'multitasking - an attractive prerequisite for ED care'; 'multitasking implies efficiency' and 'multitasking is not stressful'. From these core concepts an additional theme emerged: '… and does not cause errors - at least for me', related to patient safety.


This study shows how the patient load and the unreflected multitasking that follows relate to nurses' perceived efficiency and job satisfaction. It also shows that the relationship between multitasking and errors is perceived to be mediated by whom the actor is, and his or her level of experience. Findings from this study add value to the discourse on multitasking and the emergency department context, as few studies go beyond examining the quantitative aspect of interruptions and multitasking and how it is experienced by the staff in their everyday practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 23, no 2, 59-64 p.
National Category
Research subject
Caring Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-230759DOI: 10.1016/j.ienj.2014.05.002ISI: 000354139000004PubMedID: 24953441OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-230759DiVA: diva2:741729
Available from: 2014-08-28 Created: 2014-08-28 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved

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