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‘Caring? It's the little things we are not supposed to do anymore’


Patricia Pearcey, Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of Hull, Hull, UK. Email:


Pearcey P. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 51–56
‘Caring? It's the little things we are not supposed to do anymore’

This study explored the views of twenty-five qualified nurses in five hospitals to determine what they perceived as dominant values in clinical nursing work. Aspects of a grounded theory approach were used and this study formed the final one of three. The first two studies had student nurse samples and this study aimed to confirm and validate the data from the students' perceptions. The student nurses had implied that nurses communicated and ‘cared’ for patient's much less than they expected. Findings from this study reaffirm the students' perceptions and suggest that nurses may not be as caring as they would like to be. One significant issue to emerge, in conjunction with the realization that nurses were not being as caring as they would have liked, was that it mattered to them that caring was the ‘little things’ not ‘supposed to be done anymore’.