IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Teamwork in healthcare: A close-up view of the frontline

07 June 2022, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Professor Jeff Bezemer #IOELectures

Join this lecture to hear Professor Jeff Bezemer, Professor Carey Jewitt, Professor Roger Kneebone and Professor Li Wei explore how health professionals work together.

This event is free.

Event Information

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IOE Events


Jeremy Bentham Room
Wilkins Building
UCL, Gower Street

Watch the lecture

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This event will pull together a decade of observational research of teamwork in operating rooms and intensive care units, highlighting ways in which health professionals engage in concerted efforts to accomplish day-to-day clinical tasks. 

It will draw attention to social practices that facilitate cooperative interventional action, such as the placing of team members around the patient, the mobilisation of attention, monitoring and reading of each other’s bodily conduct and course of action, joint inspection and reading of the patient’s body, passing of objects, calibration of understanding, recruitment and provision of assistance, instruction for action and decision making. 

The account of these practices is inspired, foremost, by the works of Erving Goffman, Charles Goodwin, and Gunther Kress, who each have developed a rich conceptual apparatus for describing -and thus for scrutinising and appreciating- the fabric of everyday social activity and the range of material forms that people deploy -vocal, verbal, gestural, and so on- in making meaning, achieving shared understanding, and accomplishing practical tasks. In so doing, the lecture offers insight in some of the less well documented challenges that healthcare professionals encounter as they engage in frontline action, demanding ongoing improvisation. 

This lecture will conclude by suggesting that the kind of micrological understanding of cooperative action demonstrated in this lecture ought to be a mandatory component in the evidence base for improving healthcare. 

This event will be particularly useful for those interested in health, healthcare, the works of Erving Goffman, Charles Goodwin, and Gunther Kress.

The IOE Professorial Public Lecture series

Our series of professorial public lectures provides an opportunity to celebrate and share the expertise of our professors. Join the conversation on Twitter with #IOELectures and @IOE_London.

Each lecture is free and open to everyone - staff, students and members of the public.

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About the Speakers

Professor Jeff Bezemer

Head of the Department of Culture, Communication and Media at IOE, UCL

His research focuses on interprofessional teamwork in health care settings and has published extensively on social interaction and multimodal communication.

More about Professor Jeff Bezemer

Professor Carey Jewitt

Professor of Learning and Technology at UCL Knowledge Lab

Her research explores how technologies shape the ways that people interact and communicate, looking beyond language alone to understand the multimodal character of interaction. Carey’s current 5 year ERC Consolidator project IN-TOUCH investigates digital touch communication.

More about Professor Carey Jewitt

Professor Roger Kneebone

Director of the Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS)

He and his co-director Professor Fernando Bello lead a multidisciplinary research team whose aim is to advance human health through simulation, collaborating closely with clinicians, scientists, patients, publics and experts outside medicine.

More about Professor Roger Kneebone

Professor Li Wei

Director and Dean at IOE, UCL

His research covers many aspects of bilingualism and multilingualism, including language acquisition in childhood, education policy and practice regarding bilingual and multilingual learners of minoritized and transnational backgrounds, and the cognitive benefits of language learning. He is editor of the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism and the Applied Linguistics Review. He has won the British Association of Applied Linguistics Book Prize twice, for the Blackwell Guide to Research Methods in Bilingualism and Multilingualism (with Melissa Moyer) and Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education (with Ofelia Garcia). He is a fellow of the British Academy, Academy of Social Sciences, UK, and Academia Europaea.

More about Professor Li Wei