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Keywords:

  • caring;
  • emotional awareness;
  • emotional distance;
  • non-caring;
  • the ‘good enough’ nurse

A ‘good enough’ nurse: supporting patients in a fertility unit

In this paper, I discuss the findings of an ethnographic study of a fertility unit. I suggest that caring as ‘emotional awareness’ and ‘non-caring’ as ‘emotional distance’ may be forms of nursing akin to Fabricius’s (1991) arguments around the ‘good enough’ nurse. This paper critiques caring theories and contributes to the debates over the nature of caring in nursing. I discuss the implications raised for nurses if patients want a practical approach to caring and do not expect an emotionally intimate relationship from nurses.