The dissemination of knowledge between medical and non-medical staff in a hospital setting as a means of preventing AIDS infection of hospital workers

Abrahamsohn, David Alan
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Knowing about .AIDS and the manner in which it can be contracted in the workplace is essentlal for preventing infection. This thesis attempts to explore whether non-medlcal hospital workers are placed at risk of Infection by virtue of their ignorance of the virus and further seeks to investigate whether "expert" knowledge possessed by professional health workers is disseminated to less-skilled and less-knowledgeable workers. Processes around class and status involved in social closure are investigated to account for the lack of communication concerning AIDS amongst hospital workers. Two research procedures were adopted in this study, namely the intensive interview and participant observation. Findings of the thesis indicate that though all hospital workers are at risk of AIDS infection, unskilled workers remain more vulnerable because they lack knowledge and awareness of the virus. Factors of class, status, educational opportunity and professional elitism striate the hospital workforce and result in exclusionary practices, including the non-dissemination of knowledge about AIDS in the hospital work setting