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A gap between the philosophy and the practice of palliative healthcare: sociological perspectives on the practice of nurses in specialised palliative homecare

Glasdam, Stinne ; Ekstrand, Frida ; Rosberg, Maria ; van der Schaaf, Ann-Margrethe

Medicine, health care, and philosophy, 2019-08-05, Vol.23 (1), p.141-152

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  • Title:
    A gap between the philosophy and the practice of palliative healthcare: sociological perspectives on the practice of nurses in specialised palliative homecare
  • Author: Glasdam, Stinne ; Ekstrand, Frida ; Rosberg, Maria ; van der Schaaf, Ann-Margrethe
  • Subjects: Palliative care ; Nurses ; Philosophy ; Hospice care ; Index Medicus ; Bioethics ; Medical logic ; Philosophy of palliative care ; Bourdieu ; Specialised palliative homecare ; Scientific Contribution ; Neoliberalism
  • Is Part Of: Medicine, health care, and philosophy, 2019-08-05, Vol.23 (1), p.141-152
  • Description: Palliative care philosophy is based on a holistic approach to patients, but research shows that possibilities for living up to this philosophy seem limited by historical and administrative structures. From the nurse perspective, this article aims to explore nursing practice in specialised palliative homecare, and how it is influenced by organisational and cultural structures. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews with nine nurses were conducted, inspired by Bourdieu. The findings showed that nurses consolidate the doxa of medicine, including medical-professional values that configure a control-oriented, positivistic approach, supported by the organising policy for clinical practice. Hierarchically, nurses were positioned under doctors: medical rounds functioned as a structuring structure for their working day. They acted as medical assistants, and the prevailing medical logic seemed to make it difficult for nurses to meet their own humanistic ideals. Only short time slots allowed nurses to prioritise psychosocial needs of patients and relatives. Point-of-actions had high priority, added financial resources and ensured that budgets were allocated. Weekly visits made it possible for nurses to measure, control and govern patients' drugs and symptoms which was a necessity for their function as medical assistants. The findings challenge nurses to take on an ethical point of view, partly to ensure that patients and their families receive good palliative care focusing on more than medical issues and logic, and partly to strengthen the nurses' profession in the palliative field and help them implement palliative care philosophy in practice.
  • Publisher: Netherlands: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
  • Language: English
  • Identifier: ISSN: 1572-8633
    ISSN: 1386-7423
    EISSN: 1572-8633
    DOI: 10.1007/s11019-019-09918-2
    PMID: 31385188
  • Source: © ProQuest LLC All rights reserved

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