The work of nurses in private health: accounting for the intangibles in care delivery

Luisa Toffoli, Trudy Rudge, Lynne Barnes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    With the commodification of healthcare in general and of private health in particular, it is difficult not to acknowledge the growing influence of competition and 'the market' in shaping the way that nurses' work is managed by private hospitals and by nurses themselves. This paper explores the discourses shaping nurses' work in private healthcare, drawing upon data from an ethnographic study conducted in one Australian acute care private hospital. The framework for analysis relies on an exploration of the mentalities and governance of nurses' work in such a setting. The study shows how marketing and performance measures are believed to ensure the viability of the enterprise while simultaneously com-modifying nurses' caring work. It is this work that remains invisible to the healthcare system and the hospitals where they work.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)338-351
    Number of pages14
    JournalHealth Sociology Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


    • Discourse
    • Enterprise
    • Governmentality
    • Nursing
    • Private healthcare
    • Sociology


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