May, C. and Purkis, M.E.
The configuration of nurse-patient relationships: a critical view
Research and Theory for Nursing Practice, 9, (4), .
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This paper sets out the grounds on which a reconfiguration of the ideas currently employed to conceptualize nurse-patient relationships might be founded. It is apparent that much of the rhetoric on which education for nursing practice is founded is difficult to relate to the realities of everyday nursing work. We explore the production of the nurse-patient relationship, in theory and practice as a therapeutic relationship. The paper moves beyond outlining yet again disparities between theory and practice. We argue that a more productive direction for research and analysis aims at understanding conditions that support sustained conduct characteristic of nursing practice in everyday work settings. We demonstrate some of the central conflicts operating between the professionalizing aims of nurses and the establishment of equitable positions for doing the work of nursing.
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