Nursing Wounds: Nurse Practitioners, Doctors, Women Patients, and the Negotiation of Meaning

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Overview

The rise of the nurse practitioner as a new kind of health care professional has blurred the traditional distinction between physicians and nurses. Nurse practitioners argue that they combine both the traditionally male health care delivery of the M.D. and the traditionally female caring attention of the R.N. In her previous work Sue Fisher has analyzed the difficulties that women patients have in getting doctors to listen to their medical concerns. Now she asks whether women fare any better with nurse practitioners. 

Nursing Wounds takes us into the examining rooms of nurse practitioners and doctors to listen to how health care professionals and women patients communicate. The nurse practitioners, unlike the doctors, go beyond the medical problem to ask about the social context of the patients' lives. In these exchanges the doctors insist on reinforcing both their professional status and dominant cultural assumptions about women. While the nurse practitioners sometimes do this, they also distance themselves from their professional identities, respond to their patients woman to woman, and undermine traditional understandings about gender arrangements.These differences have important consequences for the delivery of health care.       

This compelling and complex analysis employs a range of theoretical perspectives–-from sociolinguistic to postmodern and materialist. Fisher concludes by urging a health care policy that capitalizes on the special strengths of nurse practitioners as providers of primary care who pay real attention to what their patients are saying and who support an alternative, even oppositional, understanding of women's lives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813521800
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Pages: 275

Meet the Author


SUE FISHER is Professor of Sociology at Wesleyan University. She is author of In the Patient's Best Interest: Women and the Politics of Medical Decisions and co-editor of Negotiating the Margins: The Gendered Discourses of Power and Resistance, both published by Rutgers University Press.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Nurses Do It Better 3
2 Situated Knowledges 26
3 Complaints Marked as Social Psychological: The Medical Consultation 47
4 Complaints Marked as Social Psychological: The Nursing Consultation 75
5 Complaints Coded as Medical: The Medical Consultation 110
6 Complaints Coded as Medical: The Nursing Consultation 146
7 Institutional Patterns of Interpretation 172
8 The Politics of Location 201
Epilogue: Making Health-Care Policy 224
Notes 235
References 247
Index 253
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