Voluntarism: is it a useful concept for health education in the accident and emergency department?


  • Gilean McKenna NZRN(Comp) RGN RCNT DipNEd RNT

    Corresponding author
    1. Nurse Teacher, Bloomsbury and Islington College of Nursing and Midwifery, London, England
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GileAan McKenna 2162 Fairlawn Grove, Chiswick London W4 5EH England


As the year 2000 looms closer, the emphasis on health education as a means of attaining the 38 targets for ‘Health for All’ increases Despite various initiatives, little, if any, progress has been made in narrowing the health divide Currently, terms such as ‘self-care',‘individual responsibility’ and ‘community empowerment’ are often used with emphasis on individual freedom to choose The author contends that to assume all individuals have that freedom and act voluntarily, is to deny the impact of social structure on health Health education and the concept of voluntarism will be critically examined from the perspective of nursing in an accident and emergency department