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Title: Speaking up for safety : examining factors which influence nurses' motivation to mitigate patient risk by challenging colleagues in situations of potential medical error
Author: Dempsey, Jared
ISNI:       0000 0004 2710 7705
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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Research suggests that individuals in the workplace might have a difficulty sharing their perceptions of risk and challenging unsafe behaviours. This thesis utilises The Theory of Planned Behaviour to examine which factors promote or hinder healthcare workers’ willingness to speak up and confront clinicians’ risky behaviours that could lead to medical error and hence endanger patient safety. The Theory of Planned Behaviour addresses issues surrounding intentions garnered from explicitly measured variables; in addition the thesis further sought to identify attitudes to speaking up using an implicit measure approach, and an approach using a computerbased, scenario-placement, reaction time methodology. Overall, the results of the thesis’s four studies suggest that nurses’ decisions to speak up are influenced by a variety of negative and positive beliefs. These beliefs include the effect speaking up has on the nurse speaking up and the patient; the support and actions of other nurses and medical personnel; and nurses feelings of confidence, knowledge and experience. Nurses also demonstrated a belief that they are more likely to speak up than their peers. Results also suggested that nurses speak up to individuals that they trust and distrust, indicating that trust and distrust are not polar opposites. The findings suggest that if speaking up is to be promoted practitioners need to address nurses’ negative beliefs—this is especially true with regard to fears about speaking up to authority figures. Nurses stated beliefs that they are more likely to speak up than their peers might be a result of presentation-bias or self-bias, if the cause is self-bias then training nurses to be more assertive and challenge risk might be made more difficult by nurses’ collective denial that they have any difficulties speaking up.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medical errors ; Nurses