"The Pure Guidelines of the Monastery Are to be Inscribed in Your Bones and Mind" Dogen (2010, p. 42): Mental Health Nurses'™ Practices as Ritualized Behaviour
Keywords:Buddhism, hermeneutics, mental health, nurse-patient relationship, ritual
Forms of practice among nurses on acute care mental health units present a way of revealing how different traditions and values are in play between nurses and also within nurses.Â This paper represents one interpretive theme from a larger, hermeneutic study of nursesâ€™ experiences of nurse-patient relationships on acute care mental health units, using Buddhist perspectives as a resource for interpretation of interviews with nurses. Understandings of ritual in the Zen Buddhist tradition and Catherine Bellâ€™s (2009a) concept of ritualized behavior enabled an interpretive analysis of nursesâ€™ activities as the expression and reflexive reinforcement of underlying traditions, values, and beliefs. In particular, nursesâ€™ preferences among ways of relating with patients evinced contrasting background traditions of confinement and therapeutically directed engagement.
No hermeneutic work belongs wholly to its author, and I wish to acknowledge Dr. Shelley Raffin-Bouchal, my doctoral supervisor, and Dr. Nancy Moules, who was a very active member of my supervisory committee for all their guidance and support in conducting the study from which this paper emerged.
A version of this paper was presented by the author at the Canadian Hermeneutic Institute, Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 23, 2012.
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