Curbside or informal consultations between clinicians regarding patient care occur frequently in clinical practice. Evaluation of curbside consultation (CC) among nurse practitioners (NPs) is limited.
To develop an understanding of NP perceptions of the CC process.
A qualitative descriptive design was used to assess the context of CCs among NPs. Inductive content analysis was conducted, and Atlas.ti was used to organize the data.
Purposive sampling was used to recruit 20 NPs within primary care and specialty settings.
Themes describing CC included the description of the CC process, advantages and disadvantages, documentation, legal liability, unspoken rules, and patient-centered engagement. There was a lack of consensus on the boundaries of the CC definition including difficulty in distinguishing a CC from a formal consultation. Generally, the NP acknowledges limitations and views the CC favorably as a helpful tool for receiving practical feedback and expanding learning, collegiality, and collaboration.
Implications for practice:
Findings provide insight regarding the common practice of CC in management of patients at the point of care, what it means to the NP, and a description of the breadth of the CC use. Given its potentially substantial impact on patient care, further assessment of the context of CC among NPs is obligatory.