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Nurses' work practices in design: managing the complexity of pain

Journal article
Authors Katerina Cerna
Alexandra Weilenmann
Jonas Ivarsson
Hans Rystedt
A. S. Islind
Johan Lundin
Gunnar Steineck
Published in Journal of Workplace Learning
Volume 2
Issue 2
Pages 135-146
ISSN 1366-5626
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 135-146
Language en
Keywords Professional practice, Learning, Pain, Self-monitoring application, Design ethnography, Nurses, Managing complexity, Information Technology, Workplace learning, Technological change, technologies, care, Education & Educational Research
Subject categories Educational Sciences, Other Health Sciences


Purpose The purpose of this study is to understand the activities in nurses' work practices in relation to the design process of a self-monitoring application. Design/methodology/approach A design ethnographic approach was applied in this study. Findings To solve the problem of translating highly qualitative phenomena, such as pain, into the particular abstract features of a self-monitoring application, design participants had to balance these two aspects by managing complexity. In turn, the nurses' work practices have changed because it now involves a new activity based on a different logic than the nurses' traditional work practices. Originality/value This study describes a new activity included in nurses' work practices when the nurses became part of a design process. This study introduces a novel way on how to gain a deeper understanding of existing professional practice through a detailed study of activities taking place in a design process. This study explores the possible implications for nurses' professional practices when they participate in a self-monitoring application design process.

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