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Thinking about the emotional labour of nursing – supporting nurses to care

Sawbridge, Yvonne and Hewison, Alistair (2013) Thinking about the emotional labour of nursing – supporting nurses to care. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 27 (1). pp. 127-133. ISSN 1477-7266

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URL of Published Version: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=1477-7266&volume=27&issue=1&articleid=17083466&show=abstract

Identification Number/DOI: 10.1108/14777261311311834


The aim of this article is to report some of the work undertaken by a nursing “think tank”, focussed on examining the causes of poor nursing care in hospitals, and potential solutions. A “think tank” was convened which incorporated widespread discussion with national, regional and local stakeholders, a critical literature review, and a focus group of senior nurses. It was found that there are no widespread systems of staff support that help nurses working in hospitals to cope with the emotional component of their work. This is one element that contributes to nurses providing poor care. A number of approaches to staff support have been developed that warrant further study. If episodes of poor care are to be prevented it is necessary for hospital boards to recognise the importance of supporting nurses in managing the emotional labour of caring. The introduction of routine systems of staff support should be considered. In addition to highlighting and condemning poor care, it is important to seek solutions. This article offers a new perspective on an enduring problem and identifies approaches that can be part of the solution.

Type of Work:Article
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Health Services Management Centre, School of Health and Population Sciences
Date:10 March 2013
Keywords:Emotional labour, Care, Staff support, Hospitals, Nurses, Nursing, Patient care, Management stress
Subjects:R Medicine > RT Nursing
Copyright Holders:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ID Code:1712
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