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Le travail émotionnel des professionnels de santé à l’hôpital : caractérisation et leviers d’action organisationnels

Abstract : Translated into French in 2017, sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild’s seminal work, The Managed Heart (1983), elaborated the concept of “emotional labor” which has subsequently given rise to studies in several disciplinary fields and contexts and which is central to the emotional demands identified by Gollac & Bodier (2010) as one psychosocial risk factor. As a place rich in emotions where the “extra-ordinary” (illness, suffering and death) is an everyday experience, the hospital is a particular environment for the performance of emotional labor, which involves (1) the management of one’s own emotions, (2) showing or expressing certain emotions in order to influence those of the patient, (3) by following “emotional rules”, all (4) within a context marked by a weight of emotions. This thesis endeavors to offer an in-depth examination of hospital emotional labor: characterizing and defining the concept, as well as discussing the organizational levers that could improve how it might be performed and control its consequences. The fieldwork was carried out in a teaching hospital and concerned doctors, nurses, orderlies / nursing assistants working in departments belonging to different medical specialisations (accident and emergency, geriatrics, rehabilitation, neurology) treating vulnerable or dependent patients. Data production was based on interviews, direct and participant observation and analysis of internal documents. The results of this empirical work shed light on hospital emotional labor in France and its importance for the health professional and the patient. They highlight several elements: the nature of the prevailing “emotional rules”, how (far) they are appropriated by health professionals, how the emotional burden differs between departments, the “emotionally onerous nature of the work”, signs of compassion fatigue (not the same concept as burnout) and the role of emotional labor in patient care. A substantial number of organizational levers are outlined: (1) ensuring common knowledge and skills through targeted or broad-based training, facilitating the opportunities for self-care, (2) encouraging “virtuous” practices consisting in social support dynamics, work breaks, making time and space for collective emotional regulation and reaffirming the place of the patient within the care context.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 8, 2021 - 6:01:59 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 25, 2022 - 6:56:08 PM

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Rebecca Dickason. Le travail émotionnel des professionnels de santé à l’hôpital : caractérisation et leviers d’action organisationnels. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université de Rennes 1, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique (EHESP), 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017REN1G016⟩. ⟨tel-03162849⟩



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