Social representation about health work by the voices of primary care managers

  • Lígia Maria Machado Pereira dos Santos
  • José Carlos Lopes
  • Brunna Verna Castro Gondinho
  • Luciane Miranda Guerra
  • Antonio Carlos Pereira
  • Jaqueline Vilela Bulgareli


In the conception of work process, care and managerial theories in health, it is up to the manager the ability to unite “know how” and “know how to be” in their pedagogical, technical and political aspects that underpin decision making and practice. This study aimed to give voice to the actors who produce SUS, seeking to understand the affections, ideas and intentions that move managers in the daily work of the health services. This work is placed among those who seek in qualitative methodologies the most appropriate procedures to understand the experience as an event loaded with meanings for those who live it. Opinions, values, beliefs and ways of thinking, feeling, relating and acting with common sense, “defined as a body of knowledge derived from the experiences that guide the human being in the various actions and situations of his life expressed in language, attitudes and conduct and is the basis of human understanding ”(Minayo, 2012). It is common sense that qualitative studies start, precisely because they seek to grasp the experiences and experiences of the individual. Among the currents that study the knowledge of common sense is specifically centralized the current of social representations, since they are forms of practical knowledge. Interviews were conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire, starting from basic questions, built from theories and hypotheses related to the research theme. The interview script was designed with the following triggering questions: How do you feel about managing this health facility? What is being a manager for you? Do you have a project or utopia as a manager for the service you manage? The interview period was from November 2017 to January 2018, with prior appointment and according to the availability of respondents. The interviews were recorded and transcribed in full by the researcher, the number of subjects was defined by saturation (Fontanela, et al. 2008), that is, with the suspension of inclusion of new participants when the date obtained began to present, in the researcher's evaluation, a certain redundancy or repetition (Denzin, 1994). The study was conducted through in-depth interviews with 13 professionals from a city in the state of Sao Paulo- Brazil. The method and for the interpretation of the data, the Content Analysis Technique Thematic Modality (Gomes, 2015) was used. As a guideline for the analysis, managers' experience in dealing with public health was considered and the following categories were identified:  work as a promoter of subjectivities and self representation and autonomy-management. The study revealed what managers feel, conceive, and dream about performance and the importance of their role in managing care projects and work processes that embody SUS principles.