Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© The Author(s) 2015. While the literature on emotional labour has concentrated on worker feelings, this article assesses the capacity of an occupational role to deal with the feelings of the service user and, in particular, whether this capacity constitutes a skill. It focuses on the healthcare assistant, an unregulated role increasingly important in the delivery of hospital care. The capacity of this role to manage the emotions of patients has been questioned. However, drawing upon case study data, the role is presented as an effective manager of patient emotions, an outcome partly related to the HCAs’ abilities, but more closely to the patients viewing HCAs as ‘one of us’.

Original publication




Journal article


Work, Employment and Society

Publication Date





775 - 791