This paper examines the crisis in the nursing profession in Western industrial societies in the light of Max Weber's theory of rationalisation. The domination of instrumental rational action in modern industrial societies in evident in the field of modern medicine. The burgeoning mechanistic approach to the human body and health makes modern health care services increasingly devoid of human values. Although the nursing profession has been influenced by various changes that took place in health care during the last few decades (for example greater reliance on technology), the underlying values of the nursing profession still emphasise a broad definition of the well-being of patients. Hence, in recent years the irrational consequences of growing technological medicine in North America has resulted in a serious crisis in the nursing profession. To resolve this crisis the authors propose a reorganisation of modern health care services on the basis of a new paradigm which is compatible with both the health care needs of the people and the main emphasis in education and training of the nursing profession.
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