Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Public, private and personal : a qualitative study of the invisible aspects of health visiting
Author: Pritchard, Jacqueline Edith
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2001
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis shows how it was possible to listen to health visitors relate their personal views about their work in such a way that new insights on being a woman as a health visitor have been identified. This contributes to the debate about the 'invisibility' of health visiting as a reality and also shows invisibility to be a metaphor for care and the caring aspects of the work, for the management of personal lay knowledge rooted in experience and for gender blindness in client relations based on surveillance. It shows health visiting operating on three levels that represent the public face of the work, the private lay knowledge and the hidden personal feelings. The thesis highlights the importance of remaining open to new ways of viewing and interpreting practice and makes suggestions for educational changes in the preparation of health visitors. The study draws upon qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with 35 health visitors. It examines ways in which professional and personal experiences contribute as resources to the activity of health visiting in a public work arena where the emphasis on identifying targets and measurable outcomes increased during the 1990s. The health visitors who participated in this research all identified private and personal experiences which contributed to the process of their work but without any model to validate these as legitimate resources for their clients. The findings suggest that without a transformed outlook these potential resources will continue to be hidden and undervalued. The analytical tools, drawn from feminist theories of care, epistemology and power relations were each applied to the data and demonstrated ways in which feminist understandings could lead to a heightened sense of being a 'woman worker'. It is suggested that becoming more aware of gender in client interactions can lead to a model of practice which values the needs of women and would enable health visitors to improve their practices with women.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RA Public aspects of medicine