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Care giving and nursing, work conditions and humanitude®


Increased lifespan in western societies causes the increase of hospitalization in the old age, notably for patient showing forms of dementia including Altzheimer disease. These patients relate poorly to care givers and nurses, and cases of maltreatment have repeatedly been reported. To prevent abuse and increase patient’s quality of life, Gineste and Pelissier (2007) proposed a philosophy of care based on the Humanitude® concept. Acknowledging that being human is being vertical and related to other humans, the pillars of Humanitude® are gaze, touch, talk, and standing. These modes of relation are systematically developed in care giving techniques derived from the concept. After several studies in geriatric hospitals, to assess psychosocial and ergonomic aspects of work, we present an analysis of the gap between the logic of human care and the logic of hospital organization, impacting employees work conditions and psychological welfare. Care giving is not only a “one to one” relation with the patient but needs to be integrated in the whole organization. Psychologists and ergonomists should be instrumental in defining the project and the organization linking human care giving towards the patients and better work conditions for healthcare employees.