Women's work, dirty work: the gynaecology nurse as 'other'

S.C. Bolton, Mavis Kirham (Editor)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    105 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article seeks to explore the world of the gynaecology nurse. This world defines the gendered experience of nursing; that is, women in a women's job carrying out 'women's work'. It is also a world that receives scant public recognition due to its association with the private domain of women's reproductive health. Many issues dealt with on a daily basis by gynaecology nurses are socially 'difficult': cancer, infertility, miscarriage and foetal abnormalities; or socially 'distasteful': termination of pregnancy, urinary incontinence, menstruation and sexually transmitted disease. The 'tainted' nature of gynaecology nursing gives it the social distinction of 'dirty work' but does not deter the gynaecology nurse from declaring her work as 'special', requiring distinctive knowledge and skills. Qualitative data collected from a group of gynaecology nurses in a North West National Health Service hospital displays how they actively celebrate their status as women carrying out 'dirty work'. Through the use of ceremonial work that continually re-affirms their 'womanly' qualities the gynaecology nurses establish themselves as 'different', as 'special', as the 'other'.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)169-186
    Number of pages17
    JournalGender, Work and Organization
    Volume12
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

    Fingerprint

    gynecology
    women's work
    nurse
    nursing
    menstruation
    sexually transmitted disease
    Women's work
    Nurses
    pregnancy
    health service
    cancer
    health
    experience
    Group

    Keywords

    • women's work
    • dirty work
    • gender
    • occupational culture

    Cite this

    Bolton, S.C. ; Kirham, Mavis (Editor). / Women's work, dirty work: the gynaecology nurse as 'other'. In: Gender, Work and Organization. 2005 ; Vol. 12, No. 2. pp. 169-186.
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    Women's work, dirty work: the gynaecology nurse as 'other'. / Bolton, S.C.; Kirham, Mavis (Editor).

    In: Gender, Work and Organization, Vol. 12, No. 2, 03.2005, p. 169-186.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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