Nursing is grounded in care of the body. This article examines nursing as bodywork, as experienced intersubjectively by nurses together with patients and collectively as a body within the health care labor force. The relation of nurses to the body generates conflicting and contradictory social meanings from intimate and sacred work to dirty work. Such meanings have contributed to stigmatizing the work and the worker within the labor force as well contributing to an ongoing stratification in the labor force as nurses have shifted bodywork "to lower level" or ancillary workers.
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