Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

The nursing-medical boundary: A negotiated order?

Allen, Davina Ann ORCID: 1997. The nursing-medical boundary: A negotiated order? Sociology of Health and Illness 19 (4) , pp. 498-520. 10.1111/j.1467-9566.1997.tb00415.x

Full text not available from this repository.


In a recent paper in Sociology of Health and Illness, Svensson (1996) makes the case for adopting the negotiated order perspective as the most appropriate theoretical framework for understanding patterns of doctor-nurse interaction. Analysing interview data with nursing staff from surgical and medical wards in five Swedish hospitals, Svensson identifies key changes in the health care context which he suggests have created ‘negotiation space’ for nurses, leading to the evolution of new working relationships with doctors. In examining the relationship between negotiation processes and the wider structural context, Svensson addresses a theme that has remained an enduring interest of critics and supporters of the negotiated order perspective alike. Drawing on data generated on a surgical and a medical ward in a UK District General Hospital, this paper attempts to make a further contribution to this debate and also to sociological understanding of doctor-nurse relationships, by analysing some features of hospital work which inhibited face-to-face inter-occupational negotiations but which nevertheless resulted in the modification of the formal division of labour between nursing and medicine. The implications of these findings for the negotiated order perspective are considered, and the question is raised as to what researchers working within this tradition understand by ‘negotiation’ and how it can be studied.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Uncontrolled Keywords: negotiations; work; medicine; nursing; hospital; turbulence; boundaries
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0141-9889
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 10:21

Citation Data

Cited 254 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item