Panel 3: New Approaches and Methodologies to Care.

Monday 5 September, 2016

By Gaby Smith and Zoë Shacklock.

  • Ros Jennings and Hannah Grist (Gloucestershire), ‘Thinking with age in the UK care environment: an autoethnographic approach to the times and spaces of caring for older people’
  • Val Bogan (Dublin Institute of Technology), ‘The visualization of the presenting complaint: promoting patient agency and care in the diagnostic process’
  • Misha Kavka (Auckland), ‘Between ethics and affect: mediations of care’

 

Takeaways:

–  Experiences of the UK care home environment from a personal and professional level opening up discussions of how we should approach our care of old people and adopt new nursing practices.

–  Digital devices and technology harnessed to provide patients with better care, and wider options in the process of diagnosing a patient.

– Issues of ethics of ‘affect’ are considered within a filmic or televisual examination of care, establishing an affective connection with patients/ carer/ victim.

-What we might ‘care’ for/about next, might not be recognised immediately as it takes new forms and shifts.

 

Speaking of their own experiences of working hourly rounds, doing early breakfast duties and calling in a doctor to administer morphine to residents in pain in care homes, a common memory of the blaring television is offered by both Ros and Hannah despite their years apart in the care sector. In the remembering of restless residents who were often singing, foot-tapping and having conversations over old TV favourite Stars In Their Eyes‘, the title makes reference to their unique role in care as staff, as academics and as humans who care.

Their work informs a wider understanding of the ethics of training and mode of care work that informs a necessary empathy, but also one that looks to build a stronger environment for carers and the cared for. In understanding care as a cultural practice which inform nursing models, there are underlying problems. Not only do some care workers often feel unprepared for care work, but worse still, un-nurtured when they get there.

Raising questions of a quantitive nature, the studies influencing the position of Val’s work refers to the ongoing development of medicine as a science, but also as an art. As a patient researcher, with aims to contribute to this field at the ‘soft’ end of science- in the developing of her own medical relationship with a surgeon, she feels she can personally vouch for her own academic understanding of a patient’s agency. Discussing issues of communication, dialogue and speech- there is a challenging of the idea of the ‘self’, and what the ‘self- care continuum’ can suggest, going beyond decisions of health to the assuming of responsibility.

Using Disney’s Big Hero 6 (2014), Misha explains that care has become big. Not only is the robot character of Baymax an emotional, caring and comedic one but he is one that evokes the way in which Television and Film has always incorporated the discourses of care at the heart of its narrative structure.

Distinguishing meanings of care through its etymological roots, the functional application of the term goes far beyond the semantic context. Questions raised about ethics and affect,  are addressed as care as an act and care as a feeling,  which can be seen in The Fundamentals of Caring (2016) and Me Before You (2016). Positioning care at the centre of media attention, the 2007 documentary by Paul Watson Malcolm and Barbara: Love’s Farewell shows an intimate examination of what it is to be a carer in a relationship, to return care without the same loving identity of the relationship that had previously existed, and the antagonism that is also involved in doing so.

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