Instrumental care and human-centered caring: rhetoric and lived reality

ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2011 Oct-Dec;34(4):297-314. doi: 10.1097/ANS.0b013e3182356be4.


This article explores the nursing discourse on relational caring as a context for examining the authors' recent lived realities with the health care system. Two narratives detail experiences of instrumental care and human-centered caring as the authors journeyed with a loved one who was dying. Commonalities across the stories are identified and caring analyzed using Halldorsdottir's ways of being with another. From weaving an analysis of the realities with the literature emerges a recognition of a critical turning point in nursing and health care.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / nursing
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Adult
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / nursing
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy
  • Male
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Nursing Care / methods*
  • Nursing Care / standards
  • Stomach Neoplasms / therapy
  • Terminal Care / psychology*
  • United States