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Nursing as total institution.

Authors
  • Dillard-Wright, Jess1
  • Jenkins, Danisha2
  • 1 University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.
  • 2 San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nursing philosophy : an international journal for healthcare professionals
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
Volume
25
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/nup.12460
PMID: 37403431
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Healthcare under the auspices of late-stage capitalism is a total institution that mortifies nurses and patients alike, demanding conformity, obedience, perfection. This capture, which resembles Deleuze's enclosure, entangles nurses in carceral systems and gives way to a postenclosure society, an institution without walls. These societies of control constitute another sort of total institution, more covert and insidious for their invisibility (Deleuze, 1992). While Delezue (1992) named physical technologies like electronic identification badges as key to understanding these societies of control, the political economy of late-stage capitalism functions as a total institution with no cohesive, centralized, connected material apparatus required. In this manuscript, we outline the ways in which the healthcare industrial complex demands nurse conformity and how that, in turn, operationalizes nurses in service to the institution. This foundation leads to the assertion that nursing must foster a radical imagination for itself, unbound by reality as it presently exists, in order that we might conjure more just, equitable futures for caregivers and care receivers alike. To tease out what a radical imagination might look like, we dwell in paradox: getting folks the care they need in capitalist healthcare systems; engaging nursing's deep history to inspire alternative understandings for the future of the discipline; and how nursing might divest from extractive institutional structures. This paper is a jumping-off place to interrogate the ways institutions telescope and where nursing fits into the arrangement. © 2023 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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