Status inequality in the social worker-nurse collaboration in hospitals
An Israeli pilot study among 34 social worker-nurse teams (team members working in the same hospital ward) was aimed at elucidating the conditions for promoting a milieu of collaboration between them. The data suggest that this collaboration is characterized by status-inequality, the nurse's dominance prevailing with respect to meeting the patient's psychosocial needs. Nurses view social workers mainly as fulfilling chores relating to the patients' instrumental needs that emanate from outside the hospital, while social workers, though overtly objecting to the nurses' dominance, still view the milieu as collaborative. Explanations are offered for this apparent contradiction. Possible implications are suggested regarding the consequences both for effectively meeting the patients' psychosocial needs and for the social workers' professional status in hospitals.
Volume (Year): 34 (1992)
Issue (Month): 4 (February)
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