Why become a professional? Experiences of care-giving and the decision to enter social work or nursing education

This source preferred by Jonathan Parker

Authors: Parker, J. and Merrylees, S.


Journal: Learning in Health and Social Care

Volume: 1

Pages: 105-114

ISSN: 1473-6853

DOI: 10.1046/j.1473-6861.2002.00012.x

This paper examines the care-giving experiences of three students undertaking professional education in nursing and social work and the influence these experiences had on career choice. The literature concerning social work and nursing as a career choice is reviewed. The literature indicates that career choice and professional education and training is influenced by prior experience of emotional and traumatic events within the family or close living environment, as well as a sense of idealism and altruism. A rationale for employing a biographical approach to examining reasons for wanting to train as a nurse or social worker is presented. The importance of student biographies in the contemporary world of health and social care education is discussed. Paying attention to the biographies of care-giving can add important safeguards to professional suitability and can help plan learning within the context of widening participation to higher education.

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