Continuities in caring? Emotion work in a NHS Direct call centre

Waddington, K. and Weir, H. 2008. Continuities in caring? Emotion work in a NHS Direct call centre. Nursing Inquiry. 16 (1), pp. 67-77. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1800.2008.00391.x

TitleContinuities in caring? Emotion work in a NHS Direct call centre
AuthorsWaddington, K. and Weir, H.
Abstract

Changes in technological and economic aspects of society have impacted on how we understand professional and client relationships. These relationships are constructed in terms of patients/users requiring care, and customers whose complaints have become a yardstick of satisfaction. A consequence of these changes is an interest in the related concepts of emotional labour and emotion work. For nurses, caring for people in illness and in health is central to their work, and it is this aspect of emotion at work that distinguishes nursing from other occupational groups. This paper is concerned with emotion work in a National Health Service Direct (NHS Direct) call centre in the United Kingdom. Drawing upon theoretical perspectives from organizational psychology and sociology it focuses upon the social processes that narrate emotion events in a specific context. It is based on a qualitative study exploring the experience and emotion work of nurses working in a call centre. Issues in caring without the face-to-face contact using communication technology were crucial to the way nurses perceived their work. These factors contributed to nurses’ orientation to work and to the way that conflict and dissonance with expectations of callers and managers impacted on nurses’ emotion work.

Keywordscall centre, emotion work, NHS Direct, nursing.
JournalNursing Inquiry
Journal citation16 (1), pp. 67-77
ISSN1320-7881
Year2008
PublisherWiley
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/j.1440-1800.2008.00391.x
Publication dates
Published06 Feb 2008

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