Nurses' work at night: mixing methods with multiple family members

Thompson, E.M., Sletten, T., Skene, D.J. and Arber, S. (2007) Nurses' work at night: mixing methods with multiple family members At British Sociological Association Annual Conference. 12 - 14 Apr 2007.


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This paper discusses the methodology of current research exploring experiences of nurses' work at night by consulting multiple family members, and drawing on both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Participants include female and male qualified hospital nurses, together with their spouses/partners and children aged 8-18 years. Methods include an initial joint interview with the couple; nurses, spouses/partners and children completing audio sleep diaries and paper diaries concerning food, sleep and mood each day for two weeks which include a period of consecutive night shifts; and a final interview, with each nurse, spouse/partner and child being interviewed separately. Individual interviews include questions about diary data from the preceding two weeks, together with more general questions.

Although there is considerable sociological knowledge concerning families and relationships, very few studies elicit multiple family members' accounts. This approach presents opportunities for developing in-depth understanding of night work and its place within different family members' lives. It allows consideration of how night work is viewed and understood from both individual and shared perspectives. Data are presented to demonstrate how these methods provide detailed insights about the social organisation of night work and associated sleeping and eating in relation to other paid work, unpaid work, school, meals, family and couple time together. This includes considering intersections between bodily and social priorities through diary-based accounts of specific, embodied experiences and more general reflections on night work and its consequences in the context of family life.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Venue - Dates: British Sociological Association Annual Conference, 2007-04-12 - 2007-04-14
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences
ePrint ID: 340108
Date :
Date Event
12 April 2007Published
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2012 12:39
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 16:58
Further Information:Google Scholar

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