Catheters, Slurs, and Pickup Lines

Professional Intimacy in Hospital Nursing

Lisa C. Ruchti
Book Cover

PB: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0753-5
Publication: Feb 12

HC: $91.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0752-8
Publication: Feb 12

Ebook: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0754-2
Publication: Feb 12

226 pages
6 x 9
1 table, 1 figs., 1 halftones

A detailed ethnography exploring the professional skill of intimate care in nursing.


Every day, hospital nurses must negotiate intimate trust and intimate conflict in an effort to provide quality health care. However, interactions between nurses and patients—which often require issues of privacy—are sometimes made more uncomfortable with inappropriate behavior, as when a patient has a racist and/or sexist outburst. Not all nurses are prepared to handle such intimacy, but they can all learn how to "be caring."

In Catheters, Slurs, and Pickup Lines, Lisa Ruchti carefully examines this fragile relationship between intimacy and professional care, and provides a language for patients, nurses, and administrators to teach, conduct, and advocate for knowledgeable and skilled intimate care in a hospital setting. She also recommends best training practices and practical and effective policy changes to handle conflicts.

Ruchti shows that "caring" is not just a personality characteristic but is work that is structured by intersections of race, gender, and nationality.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Fantasies and Realities in Nursing Care
1 Invisible Intimacy in Nursing
2 Social and Commercial Aspects of Intimate Care Work
3 Catheters, Communications, and Intimate Trust
4 Slurs, Pickup Lines, and Intimate Conflicts
5 Individual and Collective Intimate Strategies
Conclusion: A Call for Collective Nursing Practices and Continued Research
Appendix A: Why I Define my Research as Feminist
Appendix B: Nurse Demographics
Appendix C: Illustrations: Model of Professional
Intimacy and Nursing School Recruitment

About the Author(s)

Lisa C. Ruchti is an Assistant Professor in the Women's and Gender Studies Program and the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her research and teaching focus on the sociology of gender, intersectionality, and transnational feminist theories.