From overload to overview – how a utopia becomes reality

This article is an ethnographic analysis of a daily gathering that care staff at an acute orthopedic department in Denmark facilitates every day 12 o’clock, hereby the name the ’12 o’clock gathering’. The 12 o’clock gathering has been developed as a part of an action research project that was designed to develop the working environment while strengthening professionalism. Based on the care staffs‘ experiences with undefined roles, daily negotiations and vague communication, the 12 o’clock gathering was a way to improve communication, cooperation and solving the core task. This article explores how the 12 o’clock gathering is a mean to change by referring to the concept of ‘relational coordination’. This concept offers an analysis of what makes the 12 o’clock gathering an event that the staff preserve and prioritize. The analysis suggests that the defined form of the gathering, are of great importance to social relationships and solving the core task.

Keywords: action research, relational coordination, working environment, learning, nursing skills and optimization of core task