This paper uses the metaphor of the dance to envision how hospitals in the Netherlands engaged in organizing and delivering care during the first months of the COVID-19 outbreak. Drawing on an ongoing ethnographic study in a Dutch university study and interviews with nurses in various hospitals, we show how hospital actors (nurses, physicians, managers, directors, patients) engaged in different dances following the changing rhythms of the virus outbreak and related policy measures, as well as mutual interactions driven by ‘old’ and ‘new’ private and collective interests. We discern three dance patterns in the unfolding crisis—learning to dance; the dance marathon; dancing to a cacophony—each requiring a new choreography of organizing and caring, rearranging personnel, spaces, and materials to adapt to (the consequences of) the virus outbreak. We argue that dance is a powerful metaphor to provide an affective narrative of how hospitals operate at different levels and in various ways to accommodate a new group of patients while flexibly finding alternative ways of organizing and caring in a highly political and uncertain context.
|Title of host publication||Organising care in times of Covid-19|
|Subtitle of host publication||Implications for Leadership, Governance and Policy|
|Editors||Justin Waring, Jean-Louis Denis, Anne Reff Pedersen, Tim Tenbensel|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Nov 2021|