Chapter 15 Nursing in the Twenty-First Century
Sociological Approaches to Nursing
Further expansion to nursing curricula occurred during the 70s and 80s to include input from the social
sciences, namely psychology and sociology.
This was based on a view of nursing that held that nurses needed an understanding of the social context
of health-care delivery as well as of their patients’ individual psychological needs and perceptions.
The sociology introduced at that time, with few exceptions, revolved around the concept of role and role
relationships, such as ‘ the role of the doctor and nurse in health-care delivery’ and the role of the patient
in hospital care.’
As well as broadening the understanding of nursing, these new approaches had the unintended effect of