Educating generalists: flexibility and identity in auxiliary nursing in Finland<sup>1</sup>

Sirpa Wrede

in Rethinking professional governance

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9781861349569
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303251 | DOI:
Educating generalists: flexibility and identity in auxiliary nursing in Finland1

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This chapter directs attention to new professional groups positioned at the bottom of the health care workforce, considering the dilemmas posed by changing governance and the discourse of flexibilisation for the professional identity of auxiliary nursing in Finland. It presents conclusions about the relationship between organisational discourse of flexibility and professionalism. The argument is that, even though Finnish care workers still take pride in their work and in their professional identity, flexibilisation hinders the development of collective notions of occupational professionalism. Instead, professional identities are fragmented and when engagement occurs, it concerns the workplace rather than the occupation.

Keywords: health workforce; auxiliary nursing; Finland; support workers; workforce change; flexibilisation; occupational professionalism

Chapter.  6230 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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