Vida Sundseth Brenna

Vida Sundseth Brenna, doctoral student in History of
Science and Ideas

For my thesis I want to examine nurses’ practices of documenting patient care on paper through an archival investigation of patient records from a Norwegian hospital written between 1950 and 1990. The study aims to map what material artifacts were central to nurses’ paper work, and to discuss the implications of the potential changes to the documentation systems used by nurses in hospitals. I will draw on growing fields in the history of science and health care attentive to the material aspects of knowledge production, such as the history of paper ‘technologies’ (or tools). In line with this I suggest that nursing documentation can be thought of as a vulnerable knowledge practice – whether one thinks of it in terms of gender, social position or as a ‘new’ profession ‘struggling’ for autonomy.