Document Type




Publication Date



Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Source Publication

2017 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (ProComm)

Source ISSN



This brief paper reports on how healthcare providers negotiate stages of care and communication by using intuition. This focus shifts attention away from the product-patient records-and towards the process of medical communication. To support this claim, the paper presents preliminary findings from qualitative analysis of two individual ethnographic research projects with live-action clinical nursing simulations and emergency medical services. Using a grounded theory analysis that identified intuitive moments in the writing practices of healthcare providers, this brief paper demonstrates how intuition manifests in all five stages of care-anticipate, assess, plan, act and reassess, and document-and grounds medical assessment and decision making. Analysis suggests three takeaways for healthcare communicators and educators: 1. intuitive work supports patient specific and responsive care; 2. coding and highlighting mediate patient sense; and 3. recognizing and valuing patient sense is a learned skill. The paper concludes with suggestions for reflective activities that could support incorporating intuition into healthcare communication pedagogy.


Accepted version. 2017 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (ProComm), (July 23-26, 2017) DOI. © 2017 IEEE. Used with permission.