Boundary Drawing in Clinical Work

Ninna Meier

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


The aim of this paper is to show how health care professionals temporarily dissolve and redraw boundaries in their everyday work, in order to coordinate clinical work and facilitate collaboration in patient pathways. Boundaries are social constructions that help us make sense of our complex, social world. In health care, formal boundaries are important distinctions that separate health care practitioners into medical specialties, professions and organizational departments. But clinical work also relies on the ability of health care practitioners to collaborate around patients in formal arrangements or emergent, temporary teams. Focusing on the cognitive and social boundaries we draw to establish identity and connection (to a profession, team or person) the paper shows how health care professionals can use inter-personal relationships to temporarily dismiss formal boundaries. By redrawing cognitive boundaries surrounding those engaged in the task at hand, they can create a shared context for cross disciplinary collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventThe 31st Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference. Qualitatives 2014 - Brescia University College, London, ON, Canada
Duration: 25 Jun 201427 Jun 2014
Conference number: 31


ConferenceThe 31st Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference. Qualitatives 2014
LocationBrescia University College
CityLondon, ON
Internet address

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