Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 14(3) September 2001 : 28-39.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2001.19128

Clients' and Nurses' Perspectives on Caring as Related to Nursing Leadership - The Hellenic Dimension, Part One

Evangelia Patistea and Zabia Vardaki

Abstract

Public perceptions of caring are vital to the future of the nursing profession. Literature indicates that patients conceive caring in a traditional manner which contrasts with that of nurses. This paper addresses the culturally determined complex and interactive personal, historical and sociopolitical factors that account for the development of clients' and nurses' perceptions of caring and explains the differences observed in research between the two groups. It also discusses the high cost that society and nursing pay today for the poor public image of nurse caring. Finally, it identifies strategies that nurses, especially those in leadership positions, can use to improve the consumer's view of caring and to reduce the gap existing between clients' and professionals' perceptions of the concept. The Hellenic perspective is used as a reference point to present the relevance of the issue to the broader context of nursing in the world. The paper is based upon primary and secondary data including research findings, legislation, the authors' observations and experiences with their domestic health care system, and available literature on the subject.

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