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Beyond burnout

Heron, BI 1996 , 'Beyond burnout', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis explores the socio-cultural and political construction of the concept
of burnout and the effects of this on nurses. The way burnout is conceptualised
affects how it is dealt with, and how those suffering burnout are treated.
In spite of identifying a number of work related stressors nurses have not been
able to address the work related issues that cause burnout. This is related to the
nature of nursing. Nursing is an oral culture and involves body care and is seen as
women's work and dirty work. This socio-cultural aspect of nursing serves to
subordinate nursing to medicine in the occupational division of labour, and in the
treatment of burnout.
Economic conditions in the workplace are such that workers are expected to do
more with fewer resources. This has impacted on nurses' well-being. Nurses
suffering from the effects of prolonged workplace stresses as a result of economic
rationalist management are subjected to medical dominance when seeking to address
their symptoms. Nursing subordination is on the level of knowledge, gender and
power. In the role of client the symptoms of work related stress are re-articulated as
personal problems requiting a medical solution. In this study, discourse analysis of a text on burnout is used to illustrate the
underlying structure, prooess and powerful interest groups involved in the treatment
of burnout. Through discourse analysis and critique, how burnout is constructed,
managed and treated, and how this process serves to dis-empower nurses, is exposed.
As a result of the critique, strategies to empower nurses have been suggested.
These strategies relate to peer support, addressing workplace problems, adopting a
new perspective and political action. The adoption of these strategies may enable
nurses to move the debate on burnout beyond the present boundaries and address the
workplace issues that impact on nurses' well-being.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Heron, BI
Keywords: Nurses, Burn out (Psychology)
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1996 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).

Additional Information:

Thesis (MN)--University of Tasmania, 1997. Includes bibliographical references

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