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Patient or consumer? The colonization of the psychiatric clinic

journal contribution
posted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by Alicia Evans
Information is given a privileged place in the psychiatric clinic, as illustrated by the prevalence and volume of data to be collected and forms to be completed by psychiatric nurses. Information though is different to knowledge. The present paper argues that information is part of a managerial discourse that implies commodification whereas knowledge is part of a clinical discourse that allows room for the suffering of the patient. Information belongs to the discourse of managerialism, one that positions the patient as customer/consumer and in doing so renders them unsuffering. The patient's suffering is silenced by their construction as a consumer. The discourse of managerialism seeks a complete data set of information. By way of contrast, another discourse, that of psychoanalysis offers the institution the idea that there are always holes, gaps, and uncertainty. The idea of uncertainty, gaps, things remaining unknown and a limit sits uncomfortably with the dominant discourse of managerialism; one that demands no limits, complete data sets, and many satisfied customers. This market model of managerialism denies the potential of the therapeutic relationship; that something curative might be produced via the transference. In addition, the managerialist discourse potentially positions the patient as both illegitimate and unsuffering.

History

Journal

International journal of mental health nursing

Volume

14

Issue

4

Pagination

285 - 289

Publisher

Blackwell Publishing Asia

Location

Carlton, Vic.

ISSN

1445-8330

eISSN

1447-0349

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2009, Journal compilation Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.

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