Dr. Barbara DiCicco-Bloom
is the Executive Officer of the PhD Program in Nursing Science at the CUNY Graduate Center, and associate professor of Nursing at the College of Staten Island. From 1978 to 1996, prior to obtaining her PhD, she was a homecare/hospice nurse. Her research explores how relationships between different health professionals shape organizational efficacy and patient care. Dr. DiCicco-Bloom has published articles in a variety of journals, including Work and Occupations, Sociology of Health & Illness, Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice, Advances in Nursing Science, Medical Education, and Journal of Transcultural Nursing. She teaches Introduction to Nursing Research to baccalaureate students at the College of Staten Island and Qualitative Methods 1 & 2 to doctoral students at the Graduate Center.
Barbara is a member of the Mu Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, and was awarded a grant from the chapter as well as their annual Research Award. She has presented her research at numerous international, national, regional, and local conferences. Moreover, she received the Silver Quill Award from Medical Education for her paper, “The Qualitative Research Interview,” and as of July 2019 it is the most highly cited article in the journal (based on citations in the last three years). Additionally, she was a finalist for the New York Times, “Tribute to Nurses Award.”
Barbara’s most recent paper, “Secondary Emotional Labor: Supervisors Withholding Support and Guidance in Interdisciplinary Group Meetings in a Community Hospice Program,” published in the journal Work & Occupations, finds that nurses are better able to sustain the emotional demands of working with dying patients and their families if they are given the space to discuss and process their emotional labor in the presence of supervisors and colleagues. This finding has policy implications for a variety of occupations that provide care to people because it suggests that workers require dedicated organizational resources to support their emotional labor. It also has conceptual implications for the large emotional labor field/community, which tends to view emotional labor as an unfortunate byproduct of working with people and also focuses on interactions between workers and their clients. This paper argues, instead, that many professionals are drawn to providing people care because they find it fulfilling to use ‘emotion work’ to bring about therapeutic ends for clients. However, it is challenging to manage the stresses associated with emotional labor when organizational representatives, such as supervisors, do not see supporting emotional labor as a crucial part of their management responsibilities.
Other work by Barbara has shown that primary care physicians who work with nurse practitioners tend to outsource more emotionally vulnerable and medically complex patients to their nurse colleagues (published in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners), and that the quality of communication and information sharing between physicians and nurses in primary care practices shapes patient care and organizational efficacy and flexibility (in Sociology of Health & Illness). She is currently engaged in an ethnographic study of competitive and cooperative dynamics between Hospice, Palliative Care, and Acute Care staff in a large tertiary medical center to further understand how interactions and meanings shape access to end of life care.
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