Suggested Interpretation of Self Test

Interviewee: Well when I go in the morning I like to have a nice cup of coffee and a chat with my colleagues. I see that as a really important part of my job actually. Sort of liaising about the previous few days if I haven’t been there or problems maybe from a previous day and how to approach that problem and the current day. And probably, although to onlookers it looks as though we are having a gossip, I think it is a really important time of day. And it’s not only about information exchange but about supporting each other and talking through particular scenarios. And I suppose really, reflecting on practice, to use a buzz word. But it’s much more than just sitting having a cup of coffee. You’re sorting out what work there is for the day. But also how you are continuing the care for a particular group of people who all have slightly different needs or problems. And it’s that sort of exchange of information that will help in the continuity of advice and care. And trying to address each person as an individual, so that you don’t go in having to ask lots of questions if you haven’t seen that person before. So I think that early part of the day is really important and a time to perhaps build up to the day, to look at the essential work of the day. The things that can’t be moved around and the things one may be able to do if one gets the chance. But if the essential work outweighs the optional work, sort of rearranging things, so that you can manage how the day is going to go for all of you. Is the work do-able or isn’t do-able?

The following is only one reading of the text – you may have the same ideas but organised in a different way, or using different terms. The main issue is that you can justify how you arrived at your analysis.

A number of themes seem to emerge from this piece of text – having a chat; continuity of care; types of work. There is an inter-relation between them and the interviewee is demonstrating how something as mundane as having a coffee at the start of the day is very important in structuring the work and the pattern of the day.

Having a chat involves professionals liaising about problems, exchanging information, supporting each other and reflecting on practice. Each of these activities is important for the smooth running of any service, but especially so when practitioners are not in direct contact with one another during the working day. Also, if practitioners are engaging in this type of interaction they are also attending the nature of the work environment – building work relationships helps to make work more enjoyable and people are less likely to become stressed and isolated at work.

The theme of continuity of care is highlighted when the interviewee talks about picking up issues from previous days work or anticipating events that may have to addressed in the current day. There is the idea of a seamless service where information is available to practitioners so that they do not have to keep repeating questions or initial forms of work.

Finally, the interviewee makes a distinction between types of work – essential, and optional. Later on in the interview this is explored in more depth but is not available here for reasons of space. The balance between essential and optional is also touched on and the way in which this may have an effect on the ordering of the working day.