Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


13 November 2020

Communicating the ‘rules’ of the acute hospital ward to people living with dementia and its consequences

Presented By Dr Katie Featherstone as part of the CRCC Seminar Series

About this event

This paper examines everyday cultures of care in hospital wards and its consequences for people living with dementia and ward staff. It explores ward strategies and staff approaches to the care of this significant patient group at the bedside. Across these wards, the rehearsal and duplication of a remarkably stable interactional performance was observed during the routines of bedside care. Across these encounters, ward staff focussed on reinforcing and communicating the ‘rules’ of the ward. This paper draws on a 5 year hospital ethnography (supported by the NIHR HS&DR researcher led funding stream) within acute wards in 8 hospitals across England and Wales, to provide a detailed examination of one aspect of the world of the hospital ward, and the everyday cultures of bedside care within it. This is drawn from the forthcoming monograph Wandering the Wards (https://rb.gy/9q5xpn). It will explore interactional patterns of talk and work at the bedside to provide ways of uncovering aspects of the social standing and understandings of people living with dementia, and the recognition and attribution of this diagnostic category during an acute admission.

Katie Featherstone's research programme uses sociology and sociological methods to provide the empirical foundations for new knowledge and theoretical developments to improve the quality and humanity of care that people living with dementia receive in hospital. This work has a strong focus on applying clinically relevant detailed ethnographic research to provide understandings of the cultures, organization and delivery of dementia care in acute wards that identifies the needs of people living with dementia, their carers, and ward staff within the acute hospital setting.

Contact details

  • Questions about this event? Contact the CRCC Seminar Series organisers