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#RCN100 Celebrating 100 years of the Royal College of Nursing

The functioning of social systems as a defence against anxiety

Isabel Menzies

Helen T Allan, Professor of Nursing

Reason you chose this book

Menzies’ central argument that the emotional interaction between nurse and patient shaped nursing actions made complete sense to me and was the theoretical framing for practice as a tutor and as a researcher.


Menzies’ work suggests that nursing work with patients is shaped by the emotions from both nurse and patient, the interaction often unconscious between the two. She further argues that these emotional responses shape not only interpersonal relationships but the systems in which nurses deliver care.

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