Abjection in Nursing: Silently Reading the Body

Montgomery, Sheila Ray
September 2014
Research & Theory for Nursing Practice;2014, Vol. 28 Issue 3, p252
Academic Journal
Aim: Throughout their careers, nurses must deal with patients that may invoke feelings of dejection, repulsion, or distress. This abjection of the patient is a real issue already established within the literature. This article seeks to enlighten what continues to be silenced in nursing practice. Approach: This article will present a paradigm of the nurse, patient's body, and professional caring through the lens of abjection as theoretically defined by Julia Kristeva, using body hair in women as a forum for discussion. Conclusion: Abjection is linked, by its very nature, to the definitions of professional caring. The ability to read a body through the abjection of one's own self is a rite of passage for most nurses.


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