Sociology for Nurses: Test Your Knowledge

Test Your Knowledge: these questions test your recollection of key facts and issues

1. What is Sociology?
2. Why Should Nurses Study Sociology?
3. What is Health?
4. Nursing as an Occupation?
5. Researching Health
6. Gender
7. The Family, Health and Caring
8. Age and Ageing
9. Long Term Illness and Conditions
10. Disability
11. Social Class and Health
12. Race and Ethnicity
13. Policy in Health
14. Managing in Health Care
15. Social Care
16. Global Health

1. What is Sociology?

1. Give two reasons (with examples) why sociology is not the same as ‘common sense’. 

2. Name two sociologists associated with structural theories of society, and two sociologists associated with action theories.

3. For each of the following statements, say whether structural or action theories of society best explain the behaviour: hospital workers wearing uniforms; creating distinct and well-defined roles for different professions, such as nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists; employing a range of different methods for promoting healthy eating (e.g. written information, visual leaflets, practical demonstrations); spending more money on researching the production of potentially lucrative drugs; attending a course on improving listening skills when working with patients.

4. A Lickert scale might most commonly be used in which form of research, quantitative or qualitative?

5. Name two forms of research methods that might be used in qualitative research.

6. What are the possible problems of overt and covert participant observation?

2. Why Should Nurses Study Sociology?

1. Briefly, what is meant by the ‘sociological imagination’?

2. What are the four stereotypes that Jeffery in his study of an A&E department categorizes as ‘trivia’, ‘drunks’, ‘overdoses’, and ‘tramps’?

3. What does it mean for a research finding to be ‘valid’?

4. What does it mean for a research finding to be ‘reliable’?

5. What is meant by ‘emotional labour’?

6. Think of two ways in which sociology can help improve nursing practice.

3. What is Health?

1. Think of three different ways that you might define someone as healthy.

2. Which model of health might be described as ‘neutral and scientific’?

3. Which forms of disease (i.e. infectious or chronic/degenerative) have become more prevalent as societies have developed and industrialized?

3.What term is used to describe the construction of the menopause, gambling and alcoholism as medical problems requiring diagnosis, treatment and cure?

4. What is meant by ‘iatrogenesis’?

5.Which sociologist developed the concept of the sick role?

6. What is the difference between ‘enacted’ stigma (for example in the case of people living with HIV/AIDS) and ‘felt’ stigma (for example amongst sufferers of testicular cancer)?

4. Nursing as an Occupation

1. What does it mean to consider nursing a profession rather than a vocation?

2. What was the professional project of nurse registrationists?

3. Roughly what percentage of UK nurses are men? Roughly what percentage of senior nursing management and education posts in the UK are held by men?

4. According to Davies, why does nursing not fit the traditional model of a profession?

5. What is meant by an ‘elite’?

6.How does the doctor-nurse game work?

5. Researching Health

1. According to Gilbert, what are the three major aspects of social research?

2. Describe the major difference between quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection.

3. Briefly explain the difference between subjective and objective in relation to social research.

4. What aspects of Coronary Heart Disease are not explained by clinical research?

6. Gender

1. Briefly explain the difference between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’.

2. Identify two commonly cited differences between men and women in relation to health.

3. Suggest reasons why these two differences might be a result of social understandings of gender, rather than a result of biological sex.

4. Identify four reasons that account for men’s lower life expectancy.

5. Identify two practices which might be seen as empowering patients to take control of their health and challenge dominant medical models.

6. To say that ideas about women and health are affected by social and political attitudes throughout society is to take which theoretical approach to society: structural theory or action theory?

7. The Family, Health and Caring

1. What is meant by the ‘nuclear family’?

2. ‘Families exist to help us meet the social and economic demands of society’ is a statement informed by what type of sociological theory?

3. What does the Griffiths Report have to say about the role of family in health?

4. Suggest three characteristics that might be identified amongst carers.

5. Give an example of the ‘hidden side’ of family life.

8. Age and Ageing

1. Suggest three factors that might affect the rate at which we age physiologically.

2. What does it mean for a child to be ‘Gillick competent’?

3. Between 1901 and the turn of the twenty-first century, average life expectancy in the UK increased by: 10 years; 21 years; 32 years; over 40 years?

4. Identify three ways in which ageism might manifest itself according to Bytheway.

5. Briefly describe what is meant by the three anti-ageist values: personhood, citizenship and celebration.

9. Long Term Illness and Conditions

1. Name and provide a clinical example of Goffman’s two different types of long term conditions. What is main impact of the different types on patients?

2. What are Hydén’s three types of illness narrative?

3. Why does Bendelow argue that pain is a gendered concept?

10. Disabilty

1. According to the social model of disability, define ‘impairment’.

2. According to the social model of disability, define ‘disability’.

3. Identify three physical and three structural discriminatory barriers to disabled people.

4. Why do ‘sociologists of the body’ such as Hughes and Patterson criticise the social model of disability?

11. Social Class and Health

1. What does it mean to say Britain became a ‘modern’ society in the nineteenth century?

2. In the traditional model of social stratification, what are the factors that decide whether one is working or upper class?

3. Identify three factors which according to Weber affect our ‘status situation’.

4. According to the occupational class schema, arrange the following people in order from higher to lower social class: nurse, doctor, waiter, cleaner.

5. What term does Bartley give to the explanation of health inequalities as resulting from the uneven effects of social stresses on different social classes?

6. Briefly explain what is meant by ‘social capital’.

12. Race and Ethnicity

1. How will the demographic makeup of the UK change in the next twenty years?

2. Though scientifically the idea of race has been discredited, why do sociologists still retain the concept ‘race’?

3. What is meant by ‘situational ethnicity’?

4. What is institutional racism?

5. What problems may there be in trying to compare mortality data for different ethnic groups?

6. Identify three important techniques for communicating with a patient with limited understanding of English in the absence of a translator.

13. Policy in Health

1. Roughly what percentage of health care in the UK is privately funded: 5%, 16%, 30%, 56%?

2. Identify three social groups who have traditionally found it hard to make their voice heard in health policy debates.

3. Suggest three channels through which a nurse might be able to influence health policy.

4. What is meant by ‘performance monitoring’, and what aspects might be particularly monitored?

5. What is the name of the body of experts who approve new drug treatments within the NHS?

6. Identify three current nationwide health promotion campaigns.

14. Managing in Health Care

1. What is meant by ‘ethnography’?

2. Who developed the concept of ‘bureaucracy’?

3. Which three words would best be associated with a bureaucracy: personal or impersonal; rational or emotional; fluid or structured?

4. What name is given to the sociological concept by which work tasks are allocated to different groups in an ordered way?

5. What name is given to the interactionist approach to organizations studied by Strauss et al. that opposes bureaucracy?

6. Briefly explain the differences between: coercive power and reward power; legitimate power and expert power.

15. Social Care

1. When was the NHS created?

2. What is meant by a GP’s gatekeeping role?

3. Which political party is associated with introducing the ‘internal market’ to the NHS?

4. What is ‘practice-based commissioning’?

5. What are the functions of primary care trusts?

6. What conditions have contributed most to the prioritizing of ‘out-of-hospital’ care?

16. Global Health

1. Identify three issues that can be considered global and which affect countries across the globe.

2. What does it mean to say globalization is ‘Janus-faced’? Think up some examples.

3. Identify three of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

4. Identify three ‘hard to reach’ groups who can struggle to access health care.

5. Identify two ‘push’ and two ‘pull’ factors at play in the migration of nurses.

6. In what ways might globalisation harm health and wellbeing? Think of three examples.