Managing patient emotions as skilled work and being ‘one of us’

Ian Kessler*, Paul Heron, Sue Dopson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While the literature on emotional labour has concentrated on worker feelings, this article assesses the capacity of an occupational role to deal with the feelings of the service user and, in particular, whether this capacity constitutes a skill. It focuses on the healthcare assistant, an unregulated role increasingly important in the delivery of hospital care. The capacity of this role to manage the emotions of patients has been questioned. However, drawing upon case study data, the role is presented as an effective manager of patient emotions, an outcome partly related to the HCAs’ abilities, but more closely to the patients viewing HCAs as ‘one of us’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-791
Number of pages17
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Volume29
Issue number5
Early online date19 Feb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

Keywords

  • Emotion
  • Healthcare assistants
  • Patients
  • Skill

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