Concepts of Community Nursing
This chapter will explore prevalent constructions of community nursing, and will identify the ambivalences which exist not only in the literature, but also in practitioners’ subjective views of their role. Prominent views of the constructs of community nursing are addressed; the community nurse as a carer, and the community nurse as an agent of control, and community nursing as a unified discipline. Reasons for the ambivalences generated by these constructions are discussed. The argument which ensues debates the assumption that community nurses lack the freedom and autonomy to decide for themselves the real nature of their role. Consequently, despite assertions that community nurses are rising to the contemporary challenges of a shift away from the technological thrust of medically-orientated interventions, a phenomenon that has been identified by Dingwall and colleagues, (1988) as the second revolution in nursing, it will be argued that the profession is still beholden to others for the public image of community nursing that emerges. As a consequence, the question of whether community nurses possess sufficient autonomy to articulate and define their own constructs appears to remain unanswered.
KeywordsPrimary Health Care Social Control Social Construction Community Care Health Visitor
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