Embodied practice: rediscovering the ‘heart’ of nursing
Article first published online: 27 MAR 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 70, Issue 10, pages 2235–2244, October 2014
How to Cite
2014) Embodied practice: rediscovering the ‘heart’ of nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing 70(10), 2235–2244. doi: 10.1111/jan.12406(
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2014
- Article first published online: 27 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 MAR 2014
- authoritative knowledge;
- embodied engagement;
- nursing practice;
- the body
This article explores the importance of embodiment in nursing. It examines different sources of authoritative knowledge concerning the body and embodiment. It argues that dominant scientific and medical epistemologies of the body have displaced and marginalized embodied epistemologies, creating only a partial understanding of the embodied experiences of our patients and our own embodiment as nurses.
Over the last 20 years, there has been a rapid expansion of theoretical literature concerning the body and embodiment, spanning a range of disciplines. The potential of these insights to the essentially ‘body-based’ practice of nursing is highly significant. However, although work in this area is now increasing, theoretical and empirical investigation of the body and embodiment in nursing has remained relatively neglected.
Conventional approaches to systematic searching of the literature were not adopted for this conceptual paper. Seminal texts predominantly from nursing and sociology accompanied by more recent sources were used as a platform for theoretical reflection and to inform development of the conceptual arguments.
Implications for Nursing
The paper proposes a corporeal (re)turn to nursing practice, one that recognizes the lived embodied experience of the patient and the embodied skill and knowledge of the nurse and examines the implications for contemporary person-centred nursing practice, research and education.
At a significant juncture in nursing's history, when there is greater international focus on delivering higher standards of care, the paper calls for a repositioning of the place of embodiment in nursing.