Journal article

Discourses of anxiety in nursing practice: a psychoanalytic case study of the change-of-shift handover ritual

Alicia M Evans, David A Pereira, Judith M Parker

NURSING INQUIRY | WILEY | Published : 2008

Abstract

This paper reports on the findings of a study that considered how anxiety might function to organise nurses' practice. With reference to psychoanalytic theory this paper analyses field notes taken during a series of nursing change-of-shift handovers. The handover practices analysed met all the criteria for a ritual, as understood in psychoanalytic theory, and functioned to alleviate anxiety in the short term while symbolically expressing a forbidden and unknown knowledge. We argue that the handover ritual contained certain prohibitions, yet allowed some expression of the prohibited knowledge in a disguised way. The prohibition concerned how the patient affected the nurse, that is, moved the ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers