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Title: Context and care : nurses' accounts of stress and support on a cancer ward
Author: Katz, Jeanne
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1989
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This is a study of all ranks of nurses working on a cancer ward in a London teaching hospital. Other than the sisters, who had specialist oncology training, the nurses were not self-selected, but simply were assigned to this particular ward. Nursing, as a job, is stressful (Menzies 1959). Nursing cancer patients is believed to be particularly stressful; nurses on cancer wards have been shown to manifest extreme signs of stress which affect their perceptions of their work and the quality of care patients receive as well as their own health. Using a symbolic interactionist approach, the purpose of this study was to explore the issues of stress and support from the perspective of nurses themselves. An important aspect of the study was the use of repeated interviews which revealed changes in nurses' experiences and ward practices over time. Nurses did not identify illness category as a cause of stress nor did they view additional psycho-social support as necessary. Their accounts of how they experienced nursing cancer patients provides insights into their ideology of nursing. They spoke repeatedly of this being a "good ward" where they could practice "good nursing." This thesis explores how these nurses made sense of their work and felt enabled to nurse cancer patients without experiencing emotional distress. A theoretical explanation is proposed in terms of the interaction between the context of nurses' work (including the way in which it is structured and managed) and their ideology which was based on the concept of caring.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RT Nursing