Care taking of nursing to the hospitalized child: social memory and representations 

Gustavo A. S. Chagas Filho1

1Estácio de Sá University


Qualitative study, whose subject is the practice of care taking in nursing of the hospitalized child in a pediatric hospital. The objectives are: to characterize the social representations of the nursing staff about care taking in nursing of hospitalized children in a pediatric hospital and to describe the practice of care taking in nursing of hospitalized children in a pediatric hospital, based on social memory. The adopted theoretical approach was the Theory of Social Representations, Social Memory and conceptions from care taking in nursing. For data collection, interviews were performed with nine nurses and nine nursing auxiliaries. The collective memory was investigated, in order to portray, through construction/reconstruction, the speeches and collective practices concerning care taking in nursing of the hospitalized child. The results indicate five great thematic areas: The Child and Pediatric Nursing Image; The Past Moment Nursing Practice; The Determination of the Changes in the Nursing Practice; The Present Moment Nursing Practice; The Nursing Relationship with Other Groups. The social representation concerning the child denotes in the past, as well as in the present, his/her suffering condition, mistreatment, neglect and sadness, but with modification of the social class of the clientele. The image of Past and Present Moment nursing practices is related to three elements: the humanization, the responsibility and the "pattern". Past and Present Moment nursing practices indicate changes. The presence of the mother/companion and the nurse approximation towards the hospitalized child are factors of modification of the nursing practice representation. As decisive for the changes in the nursing practice, the following factors arise: the mother's presence as the child's companion; the increase in the staff quantitative, propitiating a modification in the profile of the nurse performance, and professional improvement of the staff; the appearance of new equipments and techniques. As an indicative of these changes, an improvement in the quality of the nursing practice is observed. The interpersonal relationship is marked by representations that indicate dualities. The relationship in nursing is represented as a team work, with good coexistence, as well as an uncoordinated work. The relationship of the nursing with the child shows either a closer contact or a distant involvement. The relationship of the nursing with the mother/companion is represented by conflicts and aggressiveness from both parts and a proximity relationship as well. Finally, the process of taking care can be expressed differently, depending on the clientele it is intended to. The particularities of each group, connected to biological, psychological, social and other characteristics, define and determine patterns of care taking. The social representation and the social memory allowed the reconstruction of the practice of care taking in nursing of the hospitalized child, once the reconstructed activity inside a group finds support in the processes of construction of the social memory and in the processes through which the own social representations are forged. In the representation, as well as in the memory, the relevance of the elements of the past is determined by: interests, needs, cognitive schemes, beliefs, effective values in a group.
Descriptors:  Nursing care, Hospitalized Child, Pediatric Nursing, Social Representations, Social Memory 


Recebido: 8/04/2003