An urgent need to secure additional community health placements provided initial motivation to use alternate clinical settings. Subsequent student requests for placement in these settings, rather than the traditional community settings, drew attention to the sites' unique and far-reaching benefits. Presenting the findings of a qualitative study, the authors discuss the perspectives of students, instructors, and RNs regarding their experiences in these alternative clinical settings and provide recommendations for the use of alternative settings in nursing education.
Knowledge translation has been widely taken up as an innovative process to facilitate the uptake of research-derived knowledge into health care services. Drawing on a recent research project, we engage in a philosophic examination of how knowledge translation might serve as vehicle for the transfer of critically oriented knowledge regarding social justice, health inequities, and cultural safety into clinical practice. Through an explication of what might be considered disparate traditions (those of critical inquiry and knowledge translation), we identify compatibilities and discrepancies both within the critical tradition, and between critical inquiry and knowledge translation. The ontological and epistemological origins of the knowledge to be translated carry implications for the synthesis and translation phases of knowledge translation. In our case, the studies we synthesized were informed by various critical perspectives and hence we needed to reconcile differences that exist within the critical tradition. A review of the history of critical inquiry served to articulate the nature of these differences while identifying common purposes around which to strategically coalesce. Other challenges arise when knowledge translation and critical inquiry are brought together. Critique is one of the hallmark methods of critical inquiry and, yet, the engagement required for knowledge translation between researchers and health care administrators, practitioners, and other stakeholders makes an antagonistic stance of critique problematic. While knowledge translation offers expanded views of evidence and the complex processes of knowledge exchange, we have been alerted to the continual pull toward epistemologies and methods reminiscent of the positivist paradigm by their instrumental views of knowledge and assumptions of objectivity and political neutrality. These types of tensions have been productive for us as a research team in prompting a critical reconceptualization of knowledge translation.
Cultural safety is a relatively new concept that has emerged in the New Zealand nursing context and is being taken up in various ways in Canadian health care discourses. Our research team has been exploring the relevance of cultural safety in the Canadian context, most recently in relation to a knowledge-translation study conducted with nurses practising in a large tertiary hospital. We were drawn to using cultural safety because we conceptualized it as being compatible with critical theoretical perspectives that foster a focus on power imbalances and inequitable social relationships in health care; the interrelated problems of culturalism and racialization; and a commitment to social justice as central to the social mandate of nursing. Engaging in this knowledge-translation study has provided new perspectives on the complexities, ambiguities and tensions that need to be considered when using the concept of cultural safety to draw attention to racialization, culturalism, and health and health care inequities. The philosophic analysis discussed in this paper represents an epistemological grounding for the concept of cultural safety that links directly to particular moral ends with social justice implications. Although cultural safety is a concept that we have firmly positioned within the paradigm of critical inquiry, ambiguities associated with the notions of 'culture', 'safety', and 'cultural safety' need to be anticipated and addressed if they are to be effectively used to draw attention to critical social justice issues in practice settings. Using cultural safety in practice settings to draw attention to and prompt critical reflection on politicized knowledge, therefore, brings an added layer of complexity. To address these complexities, we propose that what may be required to effectively use cultural safety in the knowledge-translation process is a 'social justice curriculum for practice' that would foster a philosophical stance of critical inquiry at both the individual and institutional levels.
Knowledge translation is an interactive, dynamic approach to the uptake of evidence-based knowledge. In this article, the authors present a collaborative model for knowledge translation that grew out of a program of research focusing on the experiences of patients from ethnoculturally diverse groups as they were discharged home from hospital. Research findings highlight issues around gaps in the continuity of services and language and communication. The authors discuss a number of knowledge translation initiatives that were developed to address these gaps. Key to the success of this process has been a collaborative relationship between researchers and practitioners that is grounded in the shared goal of knowledge translation to support ethically sound decision-making in the delivery of health-care services.
The chaplain's role in health care services has changed profoundly within the contexts of managerial and fiscal constraints, and increasingly pluralistic and secularized societies. Drawing from a larger study that examined religious and spiritual plurality in health care, we present findings regarding the contributions of chaplains or spiritual care providers (SCPs) as they are referred to more recently, in Canadian institutional health care contexts. Qualitative analyses of interviews with 14 employed SCPs and 7 volunteers provided insights about legitimizing and crafting the role of SPCs, becoming part of the health care team, and brokering diversity. Implications are discussed in relation to role clarification and policy development for truly hospitable health care.
The authors use the backdrop of the Healthy People 2010 initiative to contribute to a discussion encompassing social justice from local to national to global contexts. Drawing on findings from their programs of research, they explore the concept of critical social justice as a powerful ethical lens through which to view inequities in health and in healthcare access. They examine the kind of knowledge needed to move toward the ideal of social justice and point to strategies for engaging in dialogue about knowledge and actions to promote more equitable health and healthcare from local to global levels.
The nursing profession has renewed its commitment to social and political mandates, resulting in increasing attention to issues pertaining to diversity, vulnerable populations, social determinants of health, advocacy and activism, and social justice in nursing curricula. Narratives from a qualitative study examining undergraduate nursing student learning in five innovative clinical settings (corrections, international, parish, rural, and aboriginal) resonate with these curricular emphases. Data were derived from focus groups and interviews with 65 undergraduate nursing students, clinical instructors, and RN mentors. Findings of this study reveal how students in innovative clinical placements bear witness to poverty, inequities, and marginalization (critical awareness), often resulting in dissonance and soul-searching (critical engagement), and a renewed commitment to social transformation (social change). These findings suggest the potential for transformative learning in these settings.
In this article, the historical context of home healthcare in early 20th century Canada is examined with an emphasis on key events and groups that shaped nursing in the home as the primary form of healthcare. Ways in which home healthcare evolved are also addressed, including the movement from an emphasis on the home as the point of care for both preventative and curative services, to the separation of healthcare functions into public health, treatment of illness and injury, and pregnancy care-each with its own practitioners and regulators as hospital-based systems became the desirable norm. We conclude that the nature and status of home-based nursing evolved in response to public expectations of what comprised "best care" and who was responsible for providing (and funding) it. At a certain level, the home offered independent-minded nurses a level of autonomy and inscrutability unparalleled in hospital-based settings. As hospitals took preeminence as preferred sites for healthcare, the same geographic, cultural, and economic barriers that complicated access to hospitals also provided nurses unique opportunities in the home as relatively autonomous caregivers.
The concept of cultural safety, developed by indigenous nurses in the postcolonial climate of New Zealand, has not been widely examined in North America. In this article we explicate the theoretical and methodological issues that came to the forefront in our attempts to use this concept in our research with different populations in Canada. We argue that this concept prompts us to "think critically" about ourselves and our patients, and to be mindful of our own sociocultural, economic, and historical location. This critical reflection has implications for how we live, relate to one another, and practice in our various professional disciplines. On the basis of our findings, we discuss how the concept might be rewritten within a critical postcolonial and postnational feminist discourse.
The increasingly high rates of mortality and morbidity among Canadian Aboriginal women who are living with HIV/ AIDS indicate that there is a need to address deficiencies in the delivery of supportive services and health care. The purpose of this qualitative study was to develop a greater understanding of the barriers, challenges, and successes experienced when accessing health and related support services from the perspective of Aboriginal women living with HIV/AIDS. The findings are organized around four themes reflected in the interview data: fear of rejection when seeking services, finding strength in adversity, struggles with symptoms, and HIV as just one of many competing problems. It is anticipated that the findings from the study will be used to inform decision making regarding the development and delivery of appropriate, responsive, and accessible policies and programs that will support Aboriginal women who are living with HIV/AIDS.