Bettina Sletten Paasch, who obtained her PhD in the InterDisc doctoral programme in 2016, was awarded the prestiguous Spar Nord Fondens Forskningspris at the AAU Anniversary celebrations on 7th April 2017 for her PhD entitled "Care and Calls – A Nexus and Multimodal Interaction Analysis of Mobile Telephony in Nurse-patient Encounters".
Bettina Sletten Paasch has tackled a troublesome phenomenon in the working life of nurses in hospitals and that is the ‘forced’ use of smart phones. As a trained nurse and teacher of nursing herself, she understands her field of research better than an outsider ever would. However, she has not tackled the problem at work from the nurses’ point of view only; instead, she has undertaken a meticulous analysis of the actual phenomenon as it emerges in their everyday working life in the spaces of the hospital. This has required that she learn several new methods and engage in time-consuming analytical work. As a result, she has also been able to connect her findings of situated practices to underlying policies and other large-scale discourses. Therefore, Bettina Sletten Paasch dissertation is an excellent example of interdisciplinary research – connecting nursing, technology studies and discourse studies. In relation to the impact of the technology-in-use for the practices in question, Bettina Sletten Paasch shows how the claim that experienced nurses were interrupted and disrupted while engaged in patient care was not manifested in the actual video data recorded on the wards. Instead, these nurses would use other, often non-verbal means, of making sure that the patient would be the centre of their caring practice, even if a phone call was answered.
In her academic work, Bettina Sletten Paasch has reached a very high standard, as was underlined by the doctoral evaluation committee in their concluding statement:
“The dissertation is of excellent quality and scholarship. The project is novel and in many ways ground breaking. The dissertation is based on an impressive amount of literature and demonstrates excellent methodological, analytical and intellectual skills. The dissertation is carefully written, well thought out and meticulously organised. It is based on an impressive, large empirical data base consisting of video recordings (144 hours), participant observations, interviews, and various sorts of documents collected through an extended period of time. These data are systematically approached and analysed in great detail. The dissertation achieves an impressive degree of transparency in regards to the criteria for data selection and the continuous and emerging character of the data selection process. The analytical rigor and systematicity in regards to identifying relevant micro-activities and relate them to larger societal contexts forms the basis for a substantive and highly relevant contribution to the understanding of the complexity of patient-nurse-mobile-phone interaction.”
The prize money for the Spar Nord Fondens Forskningspris is 250.000 kr., of which 200.000 kr. is earmarked for further research, and 50.000 kr. is for the researcher's own use.
Her supervisors were Pirkko Raudasksoki and Anders Horsbøl in the Department of Communication and Psychology.