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Drawing a Qualitative Distinction of Caring Practices in a Professional Context: The Case of Chinese Nursing

Pang, Samantha M.C. PhD; Arthur, David Gordon PhD; Wong, Thomas K.S. PhD

Culture And Caring

How to draw a qualitative distinction between nursing work and the work of a servant has been a major concern for nurses in China. This article explains the ways in which nurses in China articulate the meaning of caring in practice situations. Seventy nurses in Beijing were invited to share their experience about what caring meant to them as nurses and examples of caring in practice situations. Van Kaam's phenomenologic method of controlled explication was used to analyze the data. The findings reveal that these Chinese nurses are able to articulate the cheng and jing versions of caring practices that emphasize flexible, pluralist, contextualized, individualized, and subjectively informed practices. To further this study, we would suggest nurses be more proactive in starting a dialogue with society so as to seek nursing's legitimate practice that can foster responsive care to patients and society on the one hand and the professional integrity of nursing on the other.

Associate Professor (Pang) (Arthur)

Professor, Department of Nursing & Health Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China (Wong)

This study was funded by a competitive Earmarked Research grant of the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong. The authors are grateful to Professor Xiao Shunzhen who helped them in collecting the data from the Beijing nurses.

Copyright © 2000 by Aspen Publishers, Inc.