Nurses' work: balancing personal and professional caregiving careers.
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Forty full-time nurses who were also responsible for providing care to individuals in their private lives volunteered for a qualitative study of combined caregiving careers. Each respondent kept a diary of caregiving activities during two representative 24-hour periods, and was interviewed prior to, and after diary-recording. Most nurses experienced high levels of stress associated with caregiving in both their professional and private lives. In general, they were relatively satisfied with their lives in both spheres, and felt a slightly greater sense of control in their work lives than in their home lives. Regarding the tensions/conflicts they alluded to, the following themes emerged: an ethic of high expectation, feeling torn between two worlds, a sense of working in isolation, and working in overdrive. The rewards/benefits included remuneration, recognition and self-esteem, opportunities for personal growth, and opportunities for family growth.
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