The article extends the discussion on the challenges in gaining access to the field in medical ethnographic research, focusing on long-term care (LTC) facilities. Medical institutions have been documented to be difficult sites to access. The reference, however, is to the recruitment of patients as informants. The challenges of recruiting practitioners as informants have not been investigated at all. The article presents the key issues that emerged in the process of gaining social access at the sites of two LTC facilities as part of a study on care workers’ identities. The main obstacles encountered during the fieldwork were organizational constraints and negotiating control over the process of recruiting the lower occupational tier of care workers with gatekeepers. The article presents the coping strategies implemented to overcome the ethical and methodological obstacles: continually reassessing the consent and cooperation of participants and developing a rapport with nurse’s aides during interviews.
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- issues in research methodology
- organization of health services