Evans AM, Pereira DA, Parker JM
Nurs Inq 2009 Sep;16(3):251-60
The nurses' relationship to knowledge has been theorised in a variety of different ways, not the least being in relation to medical dominance. In this study, the authors report on one of the findings of a case study into nurses' anxiety informed by psychoanalytic theory. They argue that the nurse's subjection to the knowledge of the other health professional, inclusive of the doctor, can be a transference arising in the context of anxiety for the nurse. Grasped by anxiety, the nurse finds their own knowledge insufficient and in this moment can operate a transference to their non-nursing colleague, who obligingly, responds. This transference is not present in the change-of-shift handover report though, when the other's knowledge is suspect, even open to derision. Thus, this reference to the knowledge of the other is not consistently present in nursing and can be seen to be just one way that nurses organise themselves in relation to anxiety. Therefore, those wanting to break down the medical dominance of the nursing profession might consider other ways nurses might organise themselves in relation to anxiety, so that the political dominance of the other is not reinforced via transference to that other.