The impact of discourses of embodiment in promoting safe manual handling practice in aged care

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

Abstract

The impact of discourses of embodiment in promoting safe manual handling practice in aged care. BACKGROUND:The inquiry, which was the basis of my PhD research, was focused on the impact of discourses of embodiment in keeping aged care workers safe in manual handling situations. The thinking underpinning the research is that if the aged care workers are disembodied beings, as previous research has demonstrated, bringing the body into focus through language may enable aged care workers to work safely. The catalyst for my research was the level of injury sustained by aged care workers when undertaking manual handling tasks despite being educated in manual handling techniques.METHOD:The initial activity was to introduce education programmes that gave aged care workers the words to use to embody themselves and each other facilitating safe manual handling. A series of education programmes were written but these were dynamic and flexible to enable the programmes to grow and evolve from the responses of the staff in the evaluations and from my observations during the sessions. Some of the content, especially the legal aspects and the manual handling techniques, were obvious inclusions; the challenges were in introducing the concepts of embodiment, disembodiment and the communication techniques to address these. My research questions were then, what would be the impact of the education programmes and would the programmes have a positive outcome for aged care workers?RESULTS:The outcomes of the education programs were totally unexpected, revealing phenomena that exacted an emotional, physical and professional toll on the researcher. This new discourses of the body shattered the dominant discourses in aged care revealing paradoxes, ironies and subversions. As the language evolved, the aged care workers began speaking the conditions of aged care work. Aged care is about caringfor bodies but the dominant discourses potentiate the phenomena of the absent body. Bodies brought into
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Society for the Research into the Education of Adults (ESREA)
Place of PublicationSweden
PublisherESREA
Pages16
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventAdult Learning in Europe - Understanding Diverse Meanings and Contexts, The 6th European Research Conference - Linkoping, Sweden, Sweden
Duration: 23 Sep 201026 Sep 2010

Conference

ConferenceAdult Learning in Europe - Understanding Diverse Meanings and Contexts, The 6th European Research Conference
CountrySweden
Period23/09/1026/09/10

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