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The nurse in the mirror: Image of the female nurse during the Italian fascist period

  • Centro di Eccellenza per la Cultura e la Ricerca Infermieristica
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Aims To describe the image of the female Licensed Nurse in Italy as promoted by the Fascist party from 1939–1943 and to understand how gender stereotypes influenced the construction of this image. Design Mixed methods design. Method The study started in 2016 and ended in 2019. In the qualitative phase, the primary source was analysis, following Chabod's historical method (2012), while the quantitative phase involved statistical analysis of textual data. Data sources All data came from the only nursing category magazine of the time: ‘L'Infermiera Italiana’ (The Italian Nurse), published from 1939–1943. Results From 112 articles analysed, the gradual elevation of the nurse emerged, including the partial replacement of ‘old’ nurses with Graduate Nurses. The analysis shows the maturation in structure, differentiation and specification, together with the birth of a new professional image. The accepted image of the nurse was now a woman of high moral character with religious ideals, but less known for her technical skills, an exception being the Visiting Health Assistant who functioned at a high level in the society. Conclusions The study shows an articulated, congruent and cohesive set of dimensions through which to review history and to understand the dynamics underlying the structuring of the nurse's professional image. Impact A better understanding of the dynamics behind the development of the professional image will guide present and future actions on gender stereotypes and their negative effects on the safety and quality of nursing care. International synergies and alliances are required.
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J Adv Nurs. 2021;77:957–972.
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
‘Having historical knowledge of a profession is the cornerstone of
professional identity, recognition and criticism surrounding that
profession. Hence, attention to the professional background is
necessary/ (Raiesifar et al., 2016, p. 13). The professional identity
of nurses and the nursing profession are closely interconnected and
the public's image of the nurse relates to the social, cultural and po-
litical system of the time (Braganca & Nirmala, 2017, p. 98). In partic-
ular, ‘the social evaluation of a profession is not only determined by
  
  
1Department of Biomedicine and
Preventi on, University of Rome Tor Vergata,
Rome, Italy
of Rome Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Ita ly
4Centre of E xcellence for Nur sing
of Rome, Rom e, Italy.
This stu dy was funded by the Center of
the construction of this image.
Mixed methods design.
The study started in 2016 and ended in 2019. In the qualitative phase, the
primary source was analysis, following Chabod's historical method (2012), while the
quantitative phase involved statistical analysis of textual data.
      
             -
the maturation in structure, differentiation and specification, together with the birth of
a new professional image. The accepted image of the nurse was now a woman of high
moral character with religious ideals, but less known for her technical skills, an excep-
The study shows an articulated, congruent and cohesive set of dimen-
sions through which to review history and to understand the dynamics underlying
the structuring of the nurse's professional image.
fessional image will guide present and future actions on gender stereotypes and their
negative effects on the safety and quality of nursing care. International synergies and
alliances are required.
 
fascism, gender, historical research, image, licensed nurse, stereotypes
... Both quantitative (QUAN) and qualitative (QUAL), research approaches were used, (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2018). The quantitative approach was based on computer-analysed statistics as represented by the Automatic Analysis of Textual Data (AATD) approach, which extracted the underlying real-world lexical corpora that are constituted of entire documents (e.g., interviews, monologues, debates) (Piervisani et al., 2021). This approach was chosen to deeply capture the richness of the language, specific to each country, as a cultural component. ...
... The transcripts were analysed using the seven-phase method of the exploratory multidimensional analysis (EMDA) described by (Fraire, 2009) to organize the findings in dendrograms. The data analysis employed was from previous healthcare and social sciences (Piervisani et al., 2021;Robieux et al., 2018). These analyses, known as lexicometry, are statistical analyses based on vocabulary which reorganize words as data to summarize them and make them meaningful. ...
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Aims To explore caregivers' needs and problems in three European countries and associate the clusters of caregivers' needs with their sociodemographic characteristics. Design A qualitative focused mixed methods design was used. Methods In total, 52 caregivers of heart failure (HF) people were interviewed in three European countries between March 2017 and December 2018. Transcripts were analysed using the seven‐phase method of the exploratory multidimensional analysis according to Fraire with Reinert lexical classes findings were organized in dendrograms. Mayring's content analysis was also performed. Results Three clusters of caregivers were identified: spouses, adult children and non‐family members. Caregivers not only provide HF patients with vital unpaid support for their physical and emotional needs, but they are continually trying to cope with their social isolation and deteriorating health. Conclusions Informal caregiving emerged as a complex process influenced by various sociodemographic factors. Gender, relationship type and economic status are the important factors to be considered planning to develop approaches to address the needs of caregivers serving people with heart failure. Impact A comprehensive understanding of the nature of informal caregiving of individuals with heart failure, the complexity of the real‐world sociodemographic and cultural factors is warranted. The use of the EMDA method gave us the possibility of processing large masses of qualitative data through rapid, complex calculations. In detail, AATD allowed us to study in deep the significant fuzziness of what caregivers expressed and to analyse the content of the entire interviews and to produce global knowledge by using multi‐dimensional statistical methods to grasp the fundamental sense of the interviews, beyond the simple words. Three clusters were identified in the samples, including spouses, adult children and non‐family members. This study demonstrated that some sociodemographic characteristics could lead to everyday needs. Therefore, these demographic characteristics should be considered in developing targeted interventions. The research was conducted in Europe, but the technique shown can be replicated everywhere. The findings not only impact nursing but can be extended to all those stakeholders who concur with a public health educational mission. Patient or Public Contribution Carers were involved in this study after the discharge of their loved ones or at the time of the outpatient visit. They were involved after they had been observed in their dynamics of involvement in caring of the familiars or friends with heart failure.
In recent years, the increase in textual data production has meant that researchers require faster text analysis techniques and software to reliably produce knowledge for the scientific-nursing community. Automatic Text Data Analysis opens the frontiers to a new research area combining the depth of analysis typical of qualitative research and the stability of measurements required for quantitative studies. Thanks to the statistical-computational approach, it proposes to study more or less extensive written texts produced in natural language to reveal lexical and linguistic worlds and extract useful and meaningful information for researchers. This article aims to provide an overview of this methodology, which has been rarely used in the nursing community to date.
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