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Title: Nursing culture in an intensive therapy unit : an interpretation of ritual and symbolism
Author: Philpin, S. M.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis is an exploration of nursing culture in an Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU). In particular, it problematises and explores specific aspects of culture - the notions of ritual and symbolism - in order to understand the meanings underpinning nursing actions in this setting. The contested nature of the term ‘ritual’ is recognised and extensively elaborated in the review of the literature. Data were generated through the use of ethnography, which entailed participant observation in an ITU over a twelve-month period followed by interviews with fifteen members of the nursing staff; it is also included the examination of documentary material present in the field. The findings from the study indicate that whilst nursing work in this ITU was undoubtedly grounded in evidence-based practice, elements of symbolism and ritual were also an integral part of the nurses’ work and of their working environment. That is to argue that these two, seemingly contradictory aspects of nursing work, coexisted in this unit. A core component and important these arising from the findings is that many nursing actions have a dual purpose, one, essentially practical and grounded in science, whilst the second purpose entails responding to various other needs stemming from the nature of nursing work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available