RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ROLE OVERLAP AND STRESS AMONG SOCIAL WORKERS AND NURSES IN A HOSPITAL SETTING
MINDELL, CONSTANCE LOBENTHAL
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The research presented here focused on the perceptions of hospital social workers and hospital nurses regarding the role responsibilities of each of the two professions. The study sought to investigate the possibility that either or both of the professions were experiencing role deprivation which is the situation in which the profession believes that members of his own professional group should have a particular responsibility, but that, in fact, that responsibility is being performed by someone else. It is also possible that the two professions are experiencing role overlap, that is to say, members of each profession are laying claim to the same role responsibilities. A third topic investigated in the research is the possibility that the perception of role overlap might be related to the stress experienced by each group. This is an important area in this point in time because both professionals are undergoing changes. The nursing profession has been generally seeking to expand the breadth of the type of activities that they perform as witness by the increased pressure among nurses to earn Bachelor's degrees and the increased emphasis within those baccalaureate programs on such things as holistic medicine and social relations, psychosocial aspects of illness, and emotional reactions to hospitalizations. Social work is also in a period of flux as it is being challenged by other professions.
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