Clinical geography: nursing practice and the (re)making of institutional space
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AIM: To present a geographical study that highlights the wide ranging spatial features of nursing agency. In turn, illustrate the further potential for geographical research to describe, support, challenge and guide clinical practice - particularly with regard to those 'everyday' activities and actions undertaken on a frequent basis. BACKGROUND: To provide a focus, and to anchor the study in existing clinical knowledge and debates, the role of nursing in the (re)making of institutional experiences and life is specifically explored. METHODS: In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 nurses working in Buckinghamshire and West London, UK. The following specialties were represented: acute care including emergency (n = 3), midwifery (n = 3), children's nursing (n = 2), elderly care (n = 1), rehabilitation (n = 2), mental health (n = 3) and palliative care (n = 1). RESULTS: Nurses claimed to actively manipulate, normalize and recreate clinical spaces as part of their everyday therapeutic practice. Specifically, the range of agency employed by them falls under the following six categories: adjusting social composition; introducing 'normal' activities; providing private spaces; seeking private spaces; explaining clinical spaces; spaces for personal escape and wellbeing. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: It is recommended that nurse leaders - including researchers, managers and clinical educators - explore geography as a source of social scientific evidence that sheds light on the complex nature of everyday professional practice. In this regard, some important disciplinary and structural issues are noted.
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