Nurses share experiences: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Via NSCN release:

The Nova Scotia College of Nursing (NSCN) has just released an eye-opening report from their Demographic and Baseline Survey, and it’s giving us a real look into what nurses across the province are saying about cultural responsiveness in healthcare.

The Challenges Nurses Face

Nurses didn’t hold back when talking about the big issues they see. Many spoke about experiencing or witnessing racism, especially towards Black and Indigenous peoples. One nurse shared, “As a First Nation woman, I’ve seen and heard many stories about how poorly First Nation people are treated in healthcare. It’s not just in Nova Scotia; it’s all across Canada.” There were also concerns about discrimination against international nurses and those from diverse racial backgrounds. Another major challenge is providing care to transgender clients, with several nurses admitting they need more education and training to feel confident in this area. Institutional racism and a lack of support from management were also hot topics, as were issues of ageism against senior nurses.

What Makes Nurses Happy

Despite these challenges, there are things that nurses are happy about. They appreciate the steps being taken towards better cultural competence. One nurse said, “I’m very impressed that this survey is being done so we can all learn and understand each other’s differences.” Nurses also value opportunities for further education and professional development, seeing these as key to providing better care.

Frustrations and Areas for Improvement

However, not everything is rosy. They pointed out a significant lack of resources and support needed to provide culturally responsive care. While many nurses feel confident in their abilities, a notable percentage said they don’t have the tools they need to back that confidence up. The persistence of racism and bias in healthcare settings remains a critical issue, with nurses calling for stronger measures to tackle these problems and more inclusive policies.

Moving Forward

The NSCN survey has opened up important conversations and highlighted the need for continuous learning and inclusivity. By addressing these issues head-on, Nova Scotia can work towards a more culturally responsive and equitable healthcare system for everyone.

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