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The Language of Caring: Nurse’s Aides’ Use of Family Metaphors Conveys Affective Care

Journal Article Expanding Access & Cultural Competence
June 1, 2007

This study, based on interviews with 30 nurse’s aides at three long-term care facilities, looks at how cultural concepts of family serve as framework for the development of affective care between caregivers and recipients. The interviewees were predominantly African-Americans or immigrants and findings show how, by filtering their experiences through metaphors of family, nurse’s aides are able to provide quality care despite racial abuse from patients.

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Key Takeaways

"We focus on how nurse's aides can express affective care in spite of experiencing racial abuse."
"Through their use of metaphors of family and attachment, these aides define family care as their gold standard of affective care and communicate that they are attempting to provide good care."
"They held out informal elder care in their cultures of origin as a model that is superior to the system of formal elder care in which they work."

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