Sykepleiere i alternativ behandling. Hvorfor velger offentlig godkjente sykepleiere å tilby alternativ behandling?
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This thesis is about nurses who choose to offer CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). The main questions to be answered is this : why do nurses choose to offer CAM and how can their choices be understood? The questions are of current interest because of the general increase of CAM, the large number of nurses who quit their jobs in the public health service and the widespread of New Age. Recent research shows that nurses have a positive attitude toward CAM. This is a thesis with both a nursing and a cultural science perspective. Field research was chosen as empirical method for collecting data, this included interviews, participant observations and text/document analysis. The informants were registered nurses who offered CAM. Chapter three is a text analysis of actual hearings (from nurses, doctors and CAM organisations) on two important public documents: “NOU 1998: Alternative Medicine” and “Law on Alternative Treatment- 2003”. This analysis shows that the three groups make a point of different things. The doctors are occupied with the importance of scientific proof of effect, the registered nurses emphasize the need for cooperation and responsibility and the CAM practitioners feel oppressed. The concept of holism was considered a core concept, and chapter four is an analysis of this concept in view of nursing theory and New Age. Holism is further discussed in view of empirical data and shows how “alternative nurses” have an ecospiritual worldview. Chapter five shows how “alternative nurses” focus “to develop Self” as an important aspect of both illness and treatment. Chapter six discusses how alternative nurses´s choice to work with CAM affects their professional identity. Choosing CAM strengthen their identity as nurses because of its focus on holism and self healing. One of the reasons why “alternative nurses” choose to offer CAM is expressed by its possibility to work independent. This is discussed in chapter seven which focus on three main distinctions in the Norwegian health care service. These three distinctions are : care- cure, nurse- doctor and masculine-feminine. By choosing CAM as independent health workers the “alternative nurses” challenge these distinctions. Chapter eight is concerned with this question: Are nurses who choose CAM contributing to a growing health market which encourage medicalisation ? The last chapter in the thesis is concerned with the consequences of the empirical findings and have several suggestions for further research, like for instance the blurred connections between nursing and CAM, nursing and religion and between care and cure.