Students nurses: between ideals and professional practices

Students nurses:
between ideals and professional practices

Temkina A.A.

PhD, Prof., European University at Saint-Petersburg, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

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Temkina A.A. Students nurses: between ideals and professional practices. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 7. P. 24-31


This article looks into the formation of the student nurses professional position. Based on interviews with students and teachers, this study demonstrates a contradiction between “ideal” academic approach in education and practical requirements of Russian healthcare organizations. During their education, students develop an idea of their future profession as their vocation – with personal involvement – and as their professional role and technical competence. When students learn the burdens of their profession and its low status, they start building conceptual and practical bridges between the ideals and theory on the one side and the real practice on the other side. Future nurses develop strategies which they use to adapt to pragmatics of their work. Students start taking more initiative, overcome alienation and learn to draw attention of medical staff in order to get real practical knowledge from them. They master practical skills as well as the skills of emotional work. Future nurses learn to minimize their emotional and physical efforts in practical situations, keeping in relationships with patients, determining the extent of their responsibilities and deciding what information to share in interactions. One of the ways students cope with the burdens of their profession is rethinking it and endowing it with a new, personal, sense. This new sense can be practical (material) in its nature or have a gender meaning, corresponding to the idea of traditional women’s duty. Students minimize the burdens of their profession by choosing more comfortable conditions, or they withdraw from the problems and quit the profession altogether. Future nurses are well aware of the strains of their profession. They understand that they have to adapt to the hardships of nurse practices, and not only study the theory, but master the necessary skills.

nursing; students; care; emotional work; academic standards; practical demands; professional practice; strategies; personal involvement; profession


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Content No 7, 2017