EMOTIONAL LABORS: HEALTH CARE(6)

In these cases, it could be that performance of emotional labor has quite severe negative consequences on their mental well-being (see later section too) since the dissonance is such that they want to genuinely feel emotionally appropriate but simply cannot. If feeling the right emotions is intimately linked in their minds to being good at their job, how will they feel when they do not feel these emotions but have to, instead, rely on faked expression in order to fulfill their own criteria of doing their job well? It is possible that this could affect their self-esteem and self-efficacy more than the worker who is performing emotional labor only to meet organizational demands (and who thus does not expect that genuine feeling is an indication of being good at the job).

Emotional Labor and Other Health-Care Providers

Perhaps surprisingly, there have been few empirical studies examining the role or presence of emotional labor in health-care settings outside of nursing. This is probably due to the assumed centrality of emotion to the nursing role, which perhaps distracts from that in other health care areas. In addition, emotional labor has traditionally been seen as “female” work which is an extension of the emotional caring within family life. Thus, the “maleness” of other health professions, such as doctors, excludes this type of work (Smith and Gray, 2000). Another reason that the study of the emotional arena within the medical profession is very underdeveloped is probably because doctors have traditionally been involved in the communication of technical procedures and interventions – leaving the more emotive aspects of caring to nurses (McCreight, 2004); as one nurse commented “doctors are detached from that sort of thing and leave nurses to pick up the emotional pieces” (Smith and Gray, 2000, p. 49).

Representative APR 391%

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