Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Cultural Safety and Nursing Education in DIVIDED SOCIETIES

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Cultural Safety and Nursing Education in DIVIDED SOCIETIES

Article excerpt



Aim. This research explores the experiences of cultural safety among nursing students from majority and minority groups in a divided society with implications for academic satisfaction and success.

Background. The study takes place in an academic nursing program in Israel, where Arab and Jewish students study together.

Methods. A researcher-developed questionnaire was used with 17 statements concerning social relations between students, faculty support, and the effects of social relations on academic satisfaction and outcomes.

Results. Significant differences were found in the ways Arab and Jewish students perceived the cultural safety of the environment. Arab students perceived social relations and faculty attitude as less positive than Jewish students and perceived cultural safety as having greater influence on academic satisfaction and success.

Conclusion. The findings indicate that students from different groups will perceive the same shared reality in significantly different ways. Nurse faculty and administrators need to make efforts to bring perceptions into closer alignment and to minimize the negative impact of external conflicts on feelings of cultural safety.

Key Words Cultural Safety - Divided Society - Academic Satisfaction - Academic Success - Nursing Students

RESEARCHERS IN NEW ZEALAND INTRODUCED THE CONCEPT OF " CULTURAL SAFETY " TO HIGHLIGHT THE IMPLICATIONS OF POWER RELATIONS, RACISM, PREJUDICE, AND DISCRIMINATION FOR NURSES AND FOR NURSING EDUCATION (DION STOUT & DOWN EY, 2006). The concept was used to address the effects of power relations and discrimination in the health of minority groups (Ramsden, 1992) and has been associated with longstanding social inequality stemming from a particular historical, often colonial, context. It is now used globally. In Canada, for example, cultural safety was used to examine issues concerning th e he alth sta t us of Ab or i ginal peoples (Anderson, Perry, Blue, & Browne, 2003) and to discuss the experiences of Muslim immigrants (Baker, 2007).

This article rep orts on research that buil ds on the concept of cul tu ra l safet y. T he stud y exp lored the e xperiences o f nursing students from majority and m in ority groups in Israel, a divided soc i ety char acte rized by dee p inter gro up s ch i sms ru nning through th e social fabric, with each group having i ts distinct c ultural, rel igious, and political identities (Schaap, 2006). Jewish and Arab students in this academic nursing program study together in the shadow of ongoing political conflict, ethnic differences, and socioeconomic inequalities. The article also contributes to understanding the implications of notions of cultural safety on academic satisfaction and success.

From Diversity Training to Cultural Safety in Nursing E du c a t io n Ethnic and racial diversity of nursing schools has increased dramatically in most western countries, creating a learning environment full of challenges for both learners and teachers. Researchers have recommended adjusting teaching policies and strategies to address the challenges of diversity (Omeri, Malcolm, Ahern, & Wellington, 2003; Yoder, 2001). A great deal of work has been devoted to developing the cross-cultural knowledge and cultural sensitivity needed to meet the needs of ethnically diverse nursing students (Duffy, 2001; Koehn & Swick, 2006).

Cultural safety e ducation extends beyo nd concep ts such a s c ultura l c ompete nc e ( Ca mp i nha- Bac ote, 20 02; Purnell & Paulan ka, 2003) whe re by stude nt s bec ome acqua in ted with various cultur al custom s and perspectives a nd learn how to apply culturally appropriate health care interventions and pract ice s (Dion Stout & Downey, 200 6) . Rather, the concept a ddresses the unde rlying conflicts and tens ions among gr oups. Nursing students are taug ht to reflect o n their o wn i dentities while re co gnizing and understand ing the dynamics of power in rel ationsh ip s (Polaschek, 1 998; Ramsd en, 1992 ; Richardson & Carryer, 2005). …

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