Constructions of Community Nursing Roles
In this chapter, various influences which have led to current constructions of community nursing roles are examined and the efforts of community nurses themselves to build a new identity are explored. As was seen in Chapter 2, throughout most of the twentieth century, there was a growing belief that ill health could be prevented by the amelioration of risk, and that people had a personal responsibility for risk limitation. Movement away from concerns about infectious disease (Baggot 2000) meant that there was a hiatus in linkages between diseases of the body and mind with social spaces. This denial of the fact that people sharing a geographical or socio-economic space were often likely to be prone to specific forms of ill health or dysfunctional social behaviour was, in many ways, reminiscent of how the French philosopher and mathematician, Descartes, in his thesis Trait de l’bomme (1662) quoted in Porter (1999:217) dismissed any relationship between body and mind. It is therefore argued that, as the reponsibility for health became more personalised, the role of community nurses became increasingly influenced by medical orientations of health care. This was almost inevitable in the light of the fact that the type of health services adopted in Britain were based upon access to medical expertise rather than a collectivist public health approach.
KeywordsPrimary Health Care Social Care Social Construction Health Visitor Nursing Profession
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