Bowker, G. C., Star, S. and Spasser, M. (March, 2001) "Classifying Nursing Work" Online Journal of Issues in Nursing
The Erasure of Nursing
"Nursing work has traditionally been invisible, and its traces have been expunged at the earliest opportunity from the medical record. This has been accomplished both externally, by hospital administrations, and internally, by nurses themselves."
Check out this article re classifying nursing work...some powerful and thought provoking statements here. Karen
The attempt to produce a scientific classification of nursing work represents one important direction for building up robust nursing knowledge. It also, at the same time, represents a significant strategy for defending the profession of nursing.
In this paper, we take the example of the Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) to study the tensions that arise when developing and applying a "working memory" or record of nursing interventions.
On one hand, such a record helps to build a knowledge base for the development of scientific nursing and for teaching. In addition, by documenting and representing nursing work in the form of atomic, indivisible units, it allows both the integration of nursing informatics into medical informatics and the recognition of heretofore invisible nursing work by hospital information systems, accounting information systems, and other integrated health care information systems.
On the other hand, such a representation risks exposing nursing to process re-engineering which could result in the reassignment of the "unskilled" portions of nursing work. We show how NIC has developed a rich strategy for dealing with the central tension between the desire for--and the dangers of--visibility.