Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: 'Getting to know them' : an exploratory study of nurses' relationships and work with terminally ill patients in acute medical and surgical wards
Author: May, Carl R.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1991
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
In this study the ways in which a group of experienced staff nurses defined, understood and accounted for their social relationships with terminally ill patients are explored. Two major bodies of social theory - an actor-oriented micro-sociological perspective, grounded in the work of Alfred Schutz and Peter L. Berger; and a macro-perspective derived from the work of Michel Foucault - are drawn on to argue: (1) That social relationships between nurses and patients are rendered problematic by the ways in which nurses defined them as encompassing an interest in the patient as a 'whole' individual. Attention is drawn to the ways in which this individuation is achieved through the production, collation and distribution of knowledge about the patient as a 'public' social actor, and as a 'private' subject. (2) That the problematic status of this social relationship is resolved through its definition as a site of particular forms of work. Here the patient is designated as more than a sick body; beyond material practices directed at palliating the effects of organic disorder, the patient is the focus of attention directed at penetrating and inspecting the sphere of the private subject. (3) That work directed at the patient's subjectivity offers not only a potent mode of surveillance to reveal psychosocial 'needs' and 'problems'. This work also permits work to adjust the patient's subjective view of social reality and so to integrate him or her into an ideal trajectory that leads to an unproblematic death.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available