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Teamwork in real-life obstetric emergencies


  • Professor Jo Angouri

  • Polina Mesinioti (PhD student)

  • Dimitrios Siassakos (University College London Hospitals)

  • Tim Draycott (North Bristol NHS Trust)

Research focus:

  • What are the characteristics of effective teamwork in real-life maternity emergencies?
  • How do senior and junior professionals enact their role discursively in the spatiomaterial context of the emergency room?


We combine linguistic analysis with a holistic view of medical and spatiomaterial performance. The analysis takes a combined Conversation Analytic and Interactional Sociolinguistics approach, integrating multimodal information and the exploitation of material space.

Key findings:

  • Effective teamwork is embodied; positioning and moving in the material space is part of enacting professional roles.
  • Senior doctors enact leadership multimodally: they position self in a central material zone and use multimodally achieved directives & questions which build on each other.
  • Seniority in this context is claimed, projected and resisted discursively, confirming the situated nature of leadership.

To find out more:

Mesinioti, P., J. Angouri, T. Draycott, , S. O’Brien, C. Bristowe, & D. Siassakos, (Under review). ‘Get me the airway there’: negotiating leadership in obstetric emergencies.