Emotional labour and the nurse-patient therapeutic relationship

While caring for people in times of great insecurity, agony and pain, nurses experience feelings which they need to work on and use in their relationship to the patient. The present review attempts to throw light into a neglected area of nursing work, the emotional labour, as it is depicted in worldwide research. It describes nurses’ emotions during their interactions with patients as well as the ways they use to deal with them. After many years’ persistent working experience, emotional work helps nurses to be able to use their emotions much easier and leads to self-awareness. A further source of intense emotional labour indicated by nurses is the conflict between the demands of personcentred care and the organizational demands of nursing. Despite pressures, research shows that nurses manage to sustain relationships with patients and draw positive emotions of satisfaction and fulfilment from their work. Emotional work and therapeutic relationships demand a working place culture which promotes them rather than reject them. The development of such a culture is not the responsibility of a single nurse but of the whole organization which needs to share the shame values and targets.

Category: Volume 46, N 3
Hits: 31 Hits
Created Date: 15-09-2007
Authors: Evdokia Misouridou