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Health Sciences

What is Relational Nursing? Joe’s Story part 2

May 14, 2012

We are exploring the story of Joe, whose nurse Suzette practices relational nursing. In relational nursing practice, nurses look for “how people, situations, contexts, environments and processes are integrally connecting and shaping each other” (Doane & Varcoe, 2005). So Suzette inquires about the connections and influences that shape Joe’s health and illness experience. She notes that he is from an ethnic minority group, lives in a poor neighbourhood, and is on disability leave from his job. He has a large extended family who visits him frequently. Joe’s wife and family are experiencing his illness as very frightening and overwhelming. Suzette offers the family support and resources.

Joe states that he hasn’t gone to his doctor because he feels discriminated against at the clinic. Suzette considers how this has hampered his illness management, and supports Joe and his family in thinking of ways to address this concern. Cultural safety is an important part of relational practice, and means going beyond cultural awareness or sensitivity, to actively promote respectful and supportive practices and systems.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of Joe’s story!

Reference: Doane, G.H. & Varcoe, C. (2005) Family nursing as relational practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins