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Title: The shape of general hospital nursing : the division of labour at work
Author: Allen, Davina
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis is about nursing work and the ways in which nurses in a general hospital accomplished occupational jurisdiction. It is based on ethnographic data generated on a surgical ward and a medical ward in a single NHS trust hospital. The study is set in the context of recent developments in nursing and medical education (DHSS, 1987; GMC, 1993; UKCC, 1987) and health policy (DH, 1989) which have created the impetus for shifts in the division of labour in health care, reviving deep-rooted historical tensions between professional and service versions of nursing. Drawing on the work of Hughes (1984), Abbott (1988) and Strauss and colleagues (Strauss et al, 1963; Strauss et al, 1964; Strauss, 1978) the aim of this project was to move on from the policy debates and develop a less essentialist account of the nursing role through an exploration of the ways in which nurses managed the parameters of their work in the course of their everyday activities. Hughes concept of 'dirty work' is employed as a sensitising device. The work of hospital-based general nurses is explored through the analysis of five key nursing boundaries: nurse-doctor, nurse-support worker, nurse-patient/relative, nurse-nurse, and nurse-management. The professional and sociological literature suggested that as a result of recent policy developments, there would be an increased need for negotiation of nurses' inter-occupational boundaries with medicine and support workers and that this was likely to be subject to some tension. But field observations revealed that nurses accomplished these inter-occupational boundaries with minimal negotiation and little explicit conflict. Conversely, there were policy-related tensions at the three other key nursing boundaries - at nurses' infra-occupational boundary, at the boundary between nurses and patients and their relatives, and at the boundary between ward-based nurses and nursing and general management - which were largely unanticipated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RT Nursing ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor