Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem
Print version ISSN 0104-1169
GOMES, Antonio Marcos Tosoli and OLIVEIRA, Denize Cristina de. The professional self and hetero image among public health nurses: a study of social representations. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem [online]. 2005, vol.13, n.6, pp. 1011-1018. ISSN 0104-1169. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-11692005000600014.
The object of this study is the professional image constructed by public health nurses and the objective is to describe and analyze the professional images present in the representations of nurses who deliver direct care to this clientele. The theoretical - methodological reference framework adopted was Social Representations Theory. A qualitative study was developed in Petrópolis - Rio de Janeiro/Brazil, through in-depth interviews with 30 nurses. Alceste 4.5 software was used for the lexical analysis. The results reveal the existence of a professional self-image with three groups of meanings: being a reference for the team, the non-specific image and the image of plaster; and a professional hetero-image with four groups of meanings: administrator, invisible, positive image and superposition. The study of the professional image reflects the construction of the nurse's identity in itself and emphasizes Social Representations Theory as a useful tool for nursing research development.
Keywords : public health nursing; professional practice; public health.