“What a nurse suffers”: care left undone in seventeenth-century Madrid

Langtree, Tanya, Birks, Melanie, and Biedermann, Narelle (2020) “What a nurse suffers”: care left undone in seventeenth-century Madrid. Nursing philosophy, 21 (1). e12274.

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Care left undone, interchangeably referred to as missed care, unfinished nursing care and task incompletion, is pervasive in contemporary healthcare systems. Care left undone can result in adverse outcomes for the patient, nurse and organization. The rhetoric that surrounds care left undone infers it is a contemporary nursing phenomenon; however, a seventeenth‐century Spanish nursing treatise, Instruccion de Enfermeros (Instructions for Nurses), challenges this assumption. Instruccion de Enfermeros was an instructional guide that was written for members of the Congregation of Bernardino de Obregon who worked as nurses at the Madrid General Hospital. The treatise provides a historical commentary on the daily roles, responsibilities and working conditions of the Obregonian nurses. Its content and context suggest the Obregonian nursing resource was consistently time poor due to a confluence of internal and external stressors. Consequently, the Obregonians were under considerable role strain resulting in inferior patient care. This article explores the antecedents of care left undone through a historical lens using exemplars from the 1625 edition of Instruccion de Enfermeros. Factors contributing to care left undone in Obregonian nursing will then be examined to offer insights into the similarities between what a nurse suffered 400 years ago and what exists in contemporary nursing practice.

Item ID: 59029
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1466-769X
Keywords: care left undone, implicit care rationing, Instruccion de Enfermeros, missed care, nursing resource, unfinished nursing care
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Copyright Information: © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Additional Information:

A version of this publication was included in Chapter 2 of the following PhD thesis: Langtree, Tanya Gai (2020) Notes on pre-Nightingale nursing: what it was and what it was not. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2019 06:00
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing @ 100%
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