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University of Antwerp

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Journal of Writing Research

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In clinical nursing simulations, a group of students provide care for a robotic patient during a structured scenario. As care is transferred from one group to another, they participate in a patient handoff, with outgoing students passing key information onto incoming students. In healthcare, the nursing handoff is a critical and perilous communication moment that is mediated by a range of participants and texts. Drawing on observations and video recordings of 52 simulation handoffs in the United States, this article examines how two student-designed texts – a collaborative patient chart and individual notes – are leveraged during the handoff. I also consider how handoff talk and writing changes as student nursing knowledge increases over the course of a year. By focusing on textual mediation of the simulated nursing handoff, this article contributes to existing research on professional writing pedagogy and to nursing scholarship on the handoff. Ultimately, it argues that a textual mediation framework can help bridge class room and professional contexts by evaluating student writing not for how successfully it meets a set of imposed criteria but for how effectively it supports classroom activities.


Accepted Version. Published version. Journal of Writing Research, Vol. 11, No. 1 (2019): 79-106. DOI.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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