2019

Marius Wamsiedel – Triage  Workers’  Sixth  Sense  and  the  Moral  Evaluation  of  ED  Patients  in  Romania

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Marius Wamsiedel is a sociologist by training and a lecturer in the Department of Health and Environmental Sciences at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. He holds degrees from the University of Hong Kong (2016, PhD), University of Bucharest (2011, MA), and University of Arizona (2009, BA). His works examine the social categorization of clientele in public hospitals, the interactional accomplishment of exclusion in healthcare settings, and the dynamics of post-socialist informality.

A brief description of the project:

The social categorization of patients is well-documented in healthcare settings of various sorts, including emergency departments (EDs). Previous studies have shown that triage workers’ decision-making is influenced by clinically irrelevant considerations. The social categorization is practically consequential, impacting patients’ admission to the ED, the order or precedence, and the apportionment of care. However, the very process through which triage workers turn the informal assessment of the clientele into formal categorization has been largely ignored. This project investigates the non-clinical evaluation of ED users in Romanian hospitals as accountable and reportable work. Its specific objectives are (1) to unveil the social process through which triage workers create the appearance of legitimacy for decisions that are not completely consistent with triage protocols; and (2) to investigate the contribution of the alleged ‘sixth sense’ to the normalization and legitimization of the non-clinical evaluation.

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