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The patient's body has moved out of focus in nursing This has led to the diminishing importance of practical skill in the discipline of nursing Patients, however, consider these skills to be a vital part of good nursing care How can nursing as a practical discipline live with the long-standing conflicts that these disparate views create? It is time that theoretical discourse within the discipline paid attention to the patient's perception of good nursing care, and that efforts are made to investigate how nurses in the clinical setting develop and consolidate the practical skills needed for the patients hygiene, comfort and medical treatment In this paper the conflicts are delineated and conditions relevant to their development are discussed