AbstractAims: To interpret the collective representations of nurses about their practice with regard to data collection in post-operative cardiac surgery, and to identify if the nurse realizes this step of the nursing process (PE) as a contributing element to its professional legitimacy. Method: it is an ethnographic research based on collective representations based on Émile Durkheim’s work. The data will be collected through semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and field diaries filled in over a three month period by nurses from a cardiac intensive care unit of a hospital for cardiovascular diseases in Rio de Janeiro. Results: Preliminary analysis of the data revealed that nurses recognize the value of data collection and its differential approach. However, they point out difficulties associated with its implementation which they attributed to excessive bureaucratic activities that separate health professionals from their patients
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