An examination of the impact of medical-surgical nursing unit configuration on nurses’ communication using space syntax theory.

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An examination of the impact of medical-surgical nursing unit configuration on nurses’ communication using space syntax theory.

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2010-03

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The work environment of nurses is complicated, stressful, detail-oriented, and influences patient outcomes. Communication between nurses and members of the patient care team is critical to the delivery of quality healthcare and also builds social support among nurses. This exploratory study focuses on the influence of medical-surgical nursing unit design on nurses’ communication. Space syntax theory was used as this study’s theoretical framework and explored for its applicability to the study of medicalsurgical nursing unit design. This study was conducted in three parts: 1) a comprehensive literature review, 2) a review of medical-surgical nursing unit floor plans for two constructs of space syntax theory (visibility and accessibility), and 3) informal, semi-structured interviews. Findings of this exploratory study’s literature review indicate that the majority of research focusing on the work environment for nurses in an urban medical-surgical nursing unit is quantitative, and therefore lacks a rich description of the nurses’ perspectives of their work environments. Based on the literature review, the following findings were identified in the context of space syntax theory a) a relationship exists between the variables of the designed environment and interpersonal communication; b) the layout configuration of medical-surgical nursing units affects nurses’ communication and social support; and c) medical-surgical nursing unit plan configurations vary and may not always reflect available quantitative research. The initial findings from the floor plan analysis indicate that space syntax theory applied to the study of healthcare environments may create confusion due to the complexities of the theory’s constructs and study methods. Interviews provided several personal experiences and, upon initial review, may provide contradictory information to the earlier findings of space syntax theory. This study seeks to build a foundation of knowledge for future qualitative research using space syntax theory for the study of medical-surgical nursing unit design’s influence on nurses’ communication.

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University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. March 2010. Major: Design. Advisor: Dr. Caren S. Martin. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 198 pages. xiii, 198 pages. Ill. (some col)

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Trzpuc, Stefnee Jayne. (2010). An examination of the impact of medical-surgical nursing unit configuration on nurses’ communication using space syntax theory.. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/60743.

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