EMOTIONAL LABORS: HEALTH CARE(4)

She takes this idea further in her own study of 45 nurses by distinguishing the “professional face”, the “smiley face” and the “humorous face” which she feels nurses use to manage some of the emotional demands made of them. Various studies highlight the importance of a nurse’s ability to manage emotion and to present the desired demeanor in a number of health-care settings; for example, James’ (1989, 1992) study of nursing the dying shows how working on one’s emotions can be described as “hard” and “productive” work; Staden (1998, p. 149) used three case studies to “recognize and value emotional labor” whilst Phillips (1996) commented on the gap that seems to have appeared between the supposed elevated status since the 1970s of the emotional components of nursing and the reality; Smith (1988, 1991, 1992) notes how student nurses have to learn to be competent emotional laborers and Strauss et al. (1982) were one of the first to coin a phrase, “sentimental work”, in recognition of the emotional component of the role.

More recently, attention has been drawn to the changing organizational context of nursing work in the UK (Bolton, 2001, p. 86) where the introduction of a “managerialism and markets mentality” means that nurses now have an added dimension to their work and are being asked to manage their emotions in much the same way as those in the private sector.

Representative APR 391%

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