The effect of labelling practices in an adolescent facility
Hutton, Alison Elly
Rudge, Trudy Kathryn
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This paper presents and discusses the implications of labelling for patients who are part of a diagnostic group. Nurses not only allocate patient groups to a ‘bed space’ according to their illness, but they also allocate the individual by their past history, as well as by that patient’s previous level of surveillance, giving the act of labelling not only a structuring effect on patient care and diagnosis, but also a historicity. These beliefs are unthinkingly applied to both cohort and individual patient. The outcomes of such a practice led to group distinctions bestowed upon individuals regardless of whether such classification and organisation fit the patient or not. The effect of labelling left patients cared for the same way regardless of individual differences and left nurses relying on indirect mechanisms of control to look after these patients.