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We are not heroes—The flipside of the hero narrative amidst the COVID19‐pandemic: A Danish hospital ethnography

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@article{4417033ec0ac407f849efda725268135,
title = "We are not heroes—The flipside of the hero narrative amidst the COVID19‐pandemic: A Danish hospital ethnography",
abstract = "AIM: To explore how the media and socially established hero narrative, affected the nursing staff who worked in the frontline during the first round of the COVID19-pandemic.BACKGROUND: During the COVID19-pandemic, both media, politicians and the public have supported and cheered on the frontline healthcare workers around the world. We have found the hero narrative to be potentially problematic for both nurses and other healthcare workers. This paper presents an analysis and discussion of the consequences of being proclaimed a hero.DESIGN: Hospital ethnography including fieldwork and focus groups.METHOD: Empirical data was collected in a newly opened COVID19-ward in a university hospital in the urban site of Copenhagen, Denmark. Fieldwork was performed from April until the ward closed in the end of May 2020. Succeeding focus group interviews with nursing staff who worked in the COVID19-ward were conducted in June 2020. The data were abductively analysed.RESULTS: The nursing staff rejected the hero narrative in ways that show how the hero narrative leads to predefined characteristics, ideas of being invincible and self-sacrificing, knowingly and willingly working in risk, transcending duties and imbodying a boundless identity. Being proclaimed as a hero inhibits important discussions of rights and boundaries.CONCLUSION: The hero narrative strips the responsibility of the politicians and imposes it onto the hospitals and the individual heroic health care worker.IMPACT: It is our agenda to show how the hero narrative detaches the connection between the politicians, society and healthcare system despite being a political apparatus. When reassessing contingency plans, it is important to incorporate the experiences from the health care workers and include their rights and boundaries. Finally, we urge the media to cover a long-lasting pandemic without having the hero narrative as the reigning filter.",
keywords = "COVID19, frontline, health care workers, hero narrative, hospital ethnography, nursing",
author = "Nina Halberg and Jensen, {Pia S{\o}e Lytken} and Larsen, {Trine Schifter}",
note = "Publisher Copyright: {\textcopyright} 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.",
year = "2021",
month = may,
doi = "10.1111/jan.14811",
language = "English",
volume = "77",
pages = "2429--2436",
journal = "Journal of Advanced Nursing",
issn = "0309-2402",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd",
number = "5",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - We are not heroes—The flipside of the hero narrative amidst the COVID19‐pandemic

T2 - A Danish hospital ethnography

AU - Halberg, Nina

AU - Jensen, Pia Søe Lytken

AU - Larsen, Trine Schifter

N1 - Publisher Copyright: © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

PY - 2021/5

Y1 - 2021/5

N2 - AIM: To explore how the media and socially established hero narrative, affected the nursing staff who worked in the frontline during the first round of the COVID19-pandemic.BACKGROUND: During the COVID19-pandemic, both media, politicians and the public have supported and cheered on the frontline healthcare workers around the world. We have found the hero narrative to be potentially problematic for both nurses and other healthcare workers. This paper presents an analysis and discussion of the consequences of being proclaimed a hero.DESIGN: Hospital ethnography including fieldwork and focus groups.METHOD: Empirical data was collected in a newly opened COVID19-ward in a university hospital in the urban site of Copenhagen, Denmark. Fieldwork was performed from April until the ward closed in the end of May 2020. Succeeding focus group interviews with nursing staff who worked in the COVID19-ward were conducted in June 2020. The data were abductively analysed.RESULTS: The nursing staff rejected the hero narrative in ways that show how the hero narrative leads to predefined characteristics, ideas of being invincible and self-sacrificing, knowingly and willingly working in risk, transcending duties and imbodying a boundless identity. Being proclaimed as a hero inhibits important discussions of rights and boundaries.CONCLUSION: The hero narrative strips the responsibility of the politicians and imposes it onto the hospitals and the individual heroic health care worker.IMPACT: It is our agenda to show how the hero narrative detaches the connection between the politicians, society and healthcare system despite being a political apparatus. When reassessing contingency plans, it is important to incorporate the experiences from the health care workers and include their rights and boundaries. Finally, we urge the media to cover a long-lasting pandemic without having the hero narrative as the reigning filter.

AB - AIM: To explore how the media and socially established hero narrative, affected the nursing staff who worked in the frontline during the first round of the COVID19-pandemic.BACKGROUND: During the COVID19-pandemic, both media, politicians and the public have supported and cheered on the frontline healthcare workers around the world. We have found the hero narrative to be potentially problematic for both nurses and other healthcare workers. This paper presents an analysis and discussion of the consequences of being proclaimed a hero.DESIGN: Hospital ethnography including fieldwork and focus groups.METHOD: Empirical data was collected in a newly opened COVID19-ward in a university hospital in the urban site of Copenhagen, Denmark. Fieldwork was performed from April until the ward closed in the end of May 2020. Succeeding focus group interviews with nursing staff who worked in the COVID19-ward were conducted in June 2020. The data were abductively analysed.RESULTS: The nursing staff rejected the hero narrative in ways that show how the hero narrative leads to predefined characteristics, ideas of being invincible and self-sacrificing, knowingly and willingly working in risk, transcending duties and imbodying a boundless identity. Being proclaimed as a hero inhibits important discussions of rights and boundaries.CONCLUSION: The hero narrative strips the responsibility of the politicians and imposes it onto the hospitals and the individual heroic health care worker.IMPACT: It is our agenda to show how the hero narrative detaches the connection between the politicians, society and healthcare system despite being a political apparatus. When reassessing contingency plans, it is important to incorporate the experiences from the health care workers and include their rights and boundaries. Finally, we urge the media to cover a long-lasting pandemic without having the hero narrative as the reigning filter.

KW - COVID19

KW - frontline

KW - health care workers

KW - hero narrative

KW - hospital ethnography

KW - nursing

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85101246312&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/jan.14811

DO - 10.1111/jan.14811

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 33616210

VL - 77

SP - 2429

EP - 2436

JO - Journal of Advanced Nursing

JF - Journal of Advanced Nursing

SN - 0309-2402

IS - 5

ER -

ID: 62392259