"Caring and love are synonymous. Inquiring about caring touches the heart and translates through the soul, the "speaking together" between the one caring and the one cared for, the shifting of consciousness from a focus on "they" or "I" to a compassionate "we.""

- Dr. Marilyn "Dee" Ray

A Study of Caring Within an Institutional Culture


Scholarship related to the concept of caring within the discipline of nursing has increased exponentially in the last thirty years. A significant body of knowledge has advanced from philosophical and quantitative and qualitative inquiry. Ray conducted one of the first research studies to illuminate the meaning, generate categories, and discover substantive and formal theories of caring in the hospital culture. In this study, comparative data of different social units of persons, professional roles, clinical units, and documents formed the basis from which a classification system and theoretical frames of reference were discovered. A substantive theory of Differential Caring was discovered from the meaning of patterns of caring in different hospital units, and using an Hegelian approach, a formal theory Bureaucratic Caring was synthesized. The future of nursing now depends on how well the nature of the Theory of Bureaucratic Caring is understood and applied in complex healthcare organizations to facilitate improvement in quality of care. See Ray and Turkel”s further research on the study of Bureaucratic Caring Theory in the additional Reference List supplied in this book.

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