Stories of chickens and dogs: A narrative metaphor for the analysis of encounters in the veterinary clinic
Author(s)Bassey E. Antia; University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria
Andrew R. Kwasari; Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Water Resources, Abuja, Nigeria
Keywordsveterinary interview; narrative; narrative rationality; clinical diagnosis; public health; Northeast Nigeria
communication in medicine
Commumication Studies; P87-96; Discourse Studies; P302-302.87
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AbstractThis article analyses veterinary interviews obtained from the city of Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria, from a perspective that blends Mishler's construct of voices with the narrative critique that has evolved from studies of medical care. Although consulting vets studied occasionally show proof of narrative rationality, including the facilitation of, and attentiveness to, the ‘voice of the lifeworld’, consideration of the broader biographical and environmental context of the clinical presentation, and so on, we also observe a number of negative clinical and public health outcomes of the consultations. The latter underscore the need for narrative ethics to be institutionalized in veterinary training and care. Indeed, the fact of veterinary practice involving an inarticulate patient and a caretaker who alone is able to construct the illness experience of the animal provides a strong rationale for the cultivation of narrative rationality by professionals in this area of care.