Study examines how nurses understand and deal with racism in healthcare

Few studies have explored health professionals' understanding of racism in healthcare, and how they manage it in practice. A new Journal of Advanced Nursing study examined the issue through five focus group discussions with 31 maternal, child, and family health nurses working across metropolitan South Australia. These clinicians represent the core professional group working with infants and families in the first years of life.

The study explored how nurses make sense of racism in practice and contribute to ensuring that children from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds do not accumulate further disadvantage in their lives through culturally unsafe healthcare practice.

The investigators found mixed understandings and misunderstandings about the nature of racism in practice. Also, where structural racism was identified, participants did not feel capable to challenge it. The findings suggest an urgent need for the introduction of anti-discriminatory education and training in the nursing workforce.

"Child health nurses work extremely hard to partner with the families with whom they work, but their practice is sometimes compromised because the frameworks used in their primary education is outdated. These results show that we urgently need interactive and sustained anti-racist education in pre-service, graduate, and workplace education," said author Dr. Julian Grant, of Flinders University, in Adelaide, South Australia. "Most importantly we need further research to find out what anti-racist approaches work best for Australian children and families."

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Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jan.13789

About Journal

The Journal of Advanced Nursing (JAN) contributes to the advancement of evidence-based nursing, midwifery and healthcare by disseminating high quality research and scholarship of contemporary relevance and with potential to advance knowledge for practice, education, management or policy.

All JAN papers are required to have a sound scientific, evidential, theoretical or philosophical base and to be critical, questioning and scholarly in approach. As an international journal, JAN promotes diversity of research and scholarship in terms of culture, paradigm and healthcare context. For JAN's worldwide readership, authors are expected to make clear the wider international relevance of their work and to demonstrate sensitivity to cultural considerations and differences.

The majority of papers in JAN are written by nurses and midwives but there are no constraints on authorship as long as papers fit with the expressed Aims and Scope.

JAN's intended readership includes practising nurses and midwives in all spheres and at all levels who are committed to advancing practice and professional development on the basis of new knowledge and evidence; managers and senior members of the nursing and midwifery professions; nurse educators and nursing students; and researchers in other disciplines with interest in common issues and inter-disciplinary collaboration. Papers published in JAN are increasingly cited in reviews of evidence and used by other healthcare professionals, policy-makers, commissioners and users of services to inform their decision-making and practice.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in education and scholarly research. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 210 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.

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       http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jan.13789 
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