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THE NURSING SERVICE AND THE AIMS OF A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL: ORIENTATIONS OF WARD PERSONNEL TO THE CARE AND REHABILITATION OF PSYCHIATRIC PATIENTS
ELLIOT G. MISHLER
Am J Psychiatry 1955;111:664-672.
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Organizational Behavior Section, Princeton University.

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Abstract

This study takes for granted that the welfare and recovery chances of patients in psychiatric hospitals are dependent, to a considerable extent, on the motivations and behavior of nursing service personnel. An approach to research on this problem which takes as its focus the personal involvement of ward personnel in the positive hospital goals of nursing care and rehabilitation is proposed. The concept of commitment is developed to describe this motivational pattern.This first report of an intensive study of the motivations of ward personnel in 2 state psychiatric hospitals is primarily concerned with the measurement of commitment. Two questions were constructed for this purpose. One asked for evaluations of the aims of nursing care and rehabilitation as hospital goals and the other for evaluations of these aims as personal goals.The original assumption that commitment to these 2 hospital goals is a unitary dimension finds no support in the results: It appears that individuals may be committed to both, either, or neither of the aims of nursing care and rehabilitation.The 2 questions are found to be consistent with each other. It is held that this justifies their continued use in further work as indices of an individual's commitment to the nursing care and/or rehabilitation of patients.

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