INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
“ALIENATION IN THE NURSING FIELD”
The Oxford dictionary defines alienation as; to estrange, isolate, detach, distance, to put a distance, to turn away from another person. Alienation, like a lot of other social attitudes and concepts, can give a wide variety of interests. I have found six main points in The Encyclopedia of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Psychoanalysis that have gotten the most attention and things written about alienation; A) Powerlessness: The feeling, that a persons behavior can't control some events whether positive or negative, B) Meaninglessness : The person feels incomprehensive in his/her social life and feels the "absurdity of life", C) Normlessness: High expectancies for, socially unapproved ways to achieving a goal, D) Cultural Estrangement: person's individual values rejected by society, E) Social Isolation: being lonely and commonly found a member of a minority or physically disabled, F) Self Estrangement: This focuses on the discrepancy or differences between one's ideal self and one's actual self.
Hispanic nurses is growing in conjunction with the growing Hispanic population as this population presents unique cultural considerations which can best be addressed by someone of a similar cultural background. The contention is presented that being Hispanic, however, is not enough to insure securing a job in the nursing profession. In order to meet their personal and cultural commitments Hispanic nurses must strive to complete the highest degree of training possible to better equip them for the ever evolving field of nursing, and this is the position in which I fit, because my full time job is a bedside registered nurse, working in a nursing home in charge of the floor. From the point of view of alienation, there were many times in which I’ve feel alienated in the hospital that I’ve been working, since I started my profession, and getting worse in Arkansas and Oklahoma, states that I was part of the critical care unit, with white American coworkers, and myself as the only one Hispanic nurse in the unit.
This paper relates the nature of the nurses role to the larger community and also considers the emerging trend towards a holistic nursing approach, designed to increase the capacity to improve the healing process through an individualized view of care; even though, the alienation that many of us have to face, because being more specific, at the beginning of my nursing experience, I felt lot of times, meaningless, isolated and useless (self and culturally estrangement) many times in that environment, probably due to my limited experience as a new graduated nurse at that time, and also because I represented the minority, since I was the only Latin, and the predigests that the population of that part of the country was involved. In other words all of the characteristics of alienation discussed in class can be applied to me.
One example, in one occasion, during my orientation period, two nurses approached me at the nurse station, asking me if I was Mexican, stating that because my dark hair I probably was, and how uncomfortable they felt working with Hispanic, because we’ve taken all the opportunities to work, to study and other rights that actually belongs to them. Also the way, that the ICU nurses approached Hispanic patients were lot more cold, and with lack of compassion about the patient.
In general a serious problem exists in long-term health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes. Most staff members responsible for patient care do their jobs competently. Nevertheless, the cold, remote attitude often taken for granted in these institutions fosters a sense of isolation and alienation in the residents, undermining their spirit and leading to "institutional depression." Care providers need to recognize this problem and meet it by bringing to the work a conscious sense of warmth and attentiveness to the...