University of Tasmania
whole_HarleyJillElizabeth1997_thesis.pdf (4.09 MB)

Behind the doors : an ethnographic account of operating room nursing practice

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posted on 2023-05-26, 22:56 authored by Harley, JH
The practice of the operating room nurse is hidden from most nurses and patients behind the doors of the theatre suite. This 'hidden' world, shrouds operating room nursing practice in an air of mystery. Nurses outside the operating room may only guess at how the day to day reality of nursing practice in the operating room is constructed. The role of the operating room nurse is described within the literature as having a 'perioperative' focus which encompasses operating room nursing care throughout the patient's experience of surgery. The question driving this thesis asks operating room nurses how they describe their practice and explores the day to day practice of these nurses through the stories they tell. Using an ethnographic methodology, six operating room nurses share their stories which depict their understandings of the nurse's role in the operating room and communicate their experiences of practice. Within the data chapters the nurses tell stories of coming to theatre and their understandings of the role of the operating room nurse. With the exception of one nurse, the understandings of the nurses in the focus group contrast sharply with the notions of the 'perioperative' role contained within the professional literature. The second of the data chapters focuses on the stories the nurses tell of their experiences in operating room nursing practice. The stories communicate the biomedical influence on nursing practice in the operating room as the nurses' views of the 'object body' are revealed. The nurse's role is also exposed to be a series of tasks which are directed to the support of the surgical team.


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Copyright 1997 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (MN)--University of Tasmania, 1997. Includes bibliographical references

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