Aims of the study. The study arose secondarily from a study with a different primary purpose (to consider attitudes towards the implementation of changes to working practices). Its aim is to provide a ‘map’ of the temporal landscapes of night nurses.
Background. Our temporal landscapes are made up of recognizable domains, with permeable borders – private time and public time, home time and work time, past, present and future time, cyclical time. Just as a geography of space contains recognizable natural features – rivers, deserts, mountains – and features created by human beings – canals, roads, skyscrapers – so our temporal landscape contains natural features – day and night, the seasons – and features created by us – the ordering of social, economic, legal, and organizational time into, among others, the practices of family life, financial periods, and workloads.
Methods. Data were collected during longitudinal ethnographic research – observation, formal interviews, informal conversations – with the emphasis on areas such as shift work, workload, and the temporal aspects of caring.
Conclusions. The result is the production of a map, albeit a rough one, of the temporal landscape inhabited by night nurses as they go about their working lives.