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Understanding nursing: the usefulness of a philosophical perspective

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Abstract:

Abstract

The work of nursing involves both treatment orientated action and care orientated action, but there exists a ‘treatment–care’ dichotomy that is structured by social factors and views of knowledge that privilege scientific, instrumental rationality. It is a claim of this paper that there is a need to establish connections between ‘treatment’ and ‘care’. The study of work processes in the healthcare field make it possible for nursing to recognize the technical and social separation of work, the separation between manual and intellectual work, the dominance of medicine among healthcare professionals, and other relations of power within institutions. The authors believe that Habermas' theory of communicative action offers an alternative view, one suitable for transforming healthcare practices and helping nurses build new responses to healthcare needs.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1466-769x.2000.00015.x

Affiliations: 1: Professor, School of Nursing, and 2: Professor, Ribeirão Preto School of Nursing, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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