Emotional work, emotional wellbeing and professional practice: the lived experiences of women community health nurses providing palliative care in the home environment in Australia

Rose, Jayln (2008) Emotional work, emotional wellbeing and professional practice: the lived experiences of women community health nurses providing palliative care in the home environment in Australia. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Abstract

This research set out to explore the relationship between emotional work, emotional wellbeing and professional practice of community nurses who provided palliative care to clients living at home. Three specific aims were investigated; the concept of emotional wellbeing; the relationship between emotional work, emotional wellbeing and professional practice; and the strategies utilised by the nurses that promote their emotional wellbeing. An emancipatory framework was applied to this study. The research was epistemologically and ontologically located within a critical and feminist framework. It was believed that the chosen methodological approach was well situated to address the subjective experiences of the sixteen women community nurses who participated in this study. The participants were all registered nurses employed by New South Wales Health and were geographically located across rural and urban New South Wales, Australia. Data collection was undertaken over a fifteen-month period. The chosen methods were semi-structured interviews and reflective journaling. The findings revealed that the concept of emotional wellbeing was complex and multifaceted. The participants associated emotional wellbeing with feeling energetically balanced or out of balance. There was a pervasive interconnectedness between emotional work, emotional wellbeing and professional practice that was influenced by multiple factors including the emotional impact of emotional work and various workplace challenges. Three main themes emerged, those being: Demanding; Rewarding; and Comfortability. Self-care was recognised as being important to the nurses and strategies to enhance their wellbeing were identified. These included healthy lifestyle choices, debriefing, self-validation, assertiveness and the need for emotional support. It is argued that community health nurses are well positioned to critically examine their work environments and explore the issues that hinder or enhance their professional satisfaction and emotional wellbeing. The profession of nursing has traditionally promoted holistic healthcare practice in client care. Yet the holistic and humanistic care of nurses has been relegated to the margins, particularly when exploring emotional issues. Emancipatory inquiries provide valuable opportunities for researchers to address the complex issues faced by nurses as it enables nurses to speak from their hearts, thus creating transformative opportunities that have benefits for educators, nurses, the nursing profession and recipients of nursing care.


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, Southern Cross University. Awarded Southern Cross University Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding Thesis, from Chancellor The Hon. John Dowd AO QC 8 May 2010.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing
Supervisors: Glass, Nel
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2015 01:45
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2015 01:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: nurses; nursing; emotional wellbeing; community health; palliative care; holistic; critical feminist; emancipatory; professional practice
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20328

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