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Emotional labour within the personal tutor role Angela Williams Lecturer Department of Nursing School of Health Science.

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Presentation on theme: "Emotional labour within the personal tutor role Angela Williams Lecturer Department of Nursing School of Health Science."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emotional labour within the personal tutor role Angela Williams Lecturer Department of Nursing School of Health Science

2 AIM To identify and discuss emotional labour within the personal tutor role

3 Structure Introduction & Background Organisational structure and process Emotional labour within the Personal Tutor role Implications

4 Introduction & background Implications of widening access to higher education: Nature of students (diversity in age, gender, culture, qualifications, experience, expectations, commitments) Increased numbers of students Challenge is to address the needs of large numbers of students with varying needs in a personalised way

5 Organisational structure and process Significant emphasis and value is placed on the personal tutor role within Swansea University and within the School of Health Science

6 Organisational structure and process Consistent, branch specific personal tutoring throughout the programme Personal tutor time is mandatory, structured and supportive in purpose Personal tutor role incorporates group reflection with personal tutor students following each clinical placement

7 Emotional Labour (Hochschild 1983) Based on flight attendants, emotional labour described as, the induction or suppression of feeling in order to sustain an outward appearance that produces in others a sense of being cared for in a convivial safe place (p7)

8 Work requiring emotional labour (Hochschild 1983) Face or voice contact with the public Requires the worker to produce an emotional response in another e.g. gratitude Enables the employer through training to exercise a degree of control of employees emotional activities

9 James (1989) emotional labour labour involved in dealing with other peoples feelings, a core component of which is the regulation of emotions (p15)

10 Key features of emotional labour (James 1992) Hard work Regulation and management of feeling Action and reaction Doing and being Demanding, skilled work Personal exchange Can be used for commercial purposes A pretence Response to common situations Subject to gender discussions

11 James (1989) Emotional labour is hard work and can be sorrowful and difficult. It demands that the labourer gives personal attention which means they must give something of themselves, not just a formulaic response (p18)

12 Emotional labour within the personal tutor role Working with our emotions in dealing with students emotions: Dealing with students feelings relating to study (anger, disappointment, grief, frustration, elation) Dealing with students problems (mental/physical illness, isolation, abuse, bereavement, divorce, relationship problems)

13 Emotional labour within personal tutor role Working with our emotions: Students who are difficult to manage (demanding, lack commitment, reluctant to take responsibility - may be unpopular) Relationship has potential for attachment and emotional involvement (Menzies 1960) Personal tutors can experience a range of feelings such as care, concern, protection, responsibility, empathy and frustration These feelings have to be managed

14 Implications of emotional labour Smith (1992) highlighted the importance of: supportive environment effective leadership role modelling and valuing of emotion work as crucial for student nurses to care for patients.

15 Support for personal tutors Needs to be recognised and supported through formal and informal organisational mechanisms (e.g. clinical supervision, mentorship)

16 Research Research is crucial to illuminate the facets of emotional labour specifically within the personal tutor role

17 References Hoschild A.R (1983) The managed heart: commercialisation of human feeling, Berkeley, University of California Press James N. (1992) Care = organisation + physical labour + emotional labour, Sociology of health and illness, 14 (4) James N. (1989) Emotional labour: skill and work in the social regulation of feelings, Sociological Review, 37, Smith P. (1992) The Emotional Labour of Nursing, London, Macmillan

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