Unable to answer the call of our patients: mental health nurses’ experience of moral distress When health practitioners’ moral choices and actions are thwarted by constraints, they may respond with feelings of moral distress. In a Canadian hermeneutic phenomenological study, physicians, nurses, psychologists and non‐professional aides were asked to identify care situations that they found morally distressing, and to elaborate on how moral concerns regarding the care of patients were raised and resolved. In this paper, we describe the experience of (...) moral distress related by nurses working in mental healthcare settings who believed that lack of resources (such as time and staff) leads to dispiritedness, lack of respect, and absence of recognition (for both patients and staff) which severely diminished their ability to provide quality care. The metaphors of flashlight and hammer are used to elaborate nurses’ possible responses to intolerable situations. (shrink)
Phenomenological interviews with queer women in rural Nova Scotia reveal significant forms of trauma experienced during labour and birth. Situating the accounts of participants within both phenomenological and intersectional analyses reveals harms enabled by structurally embedded heteronormative and homophobic healthcare practices and policies. Our account illustrates the breadth and depth of harm experienced and outlines how these violate core ethical principles and values in healthcare.
This paper draws on findings from qualitative interviews with queer and trans patients and with physicians providing care to queer and trans patients in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, to explore how routine practices of health care can perpetuate or challenge the marginalization of queers. One of the most common “measures” of improved cultural competence in health care practice is self-reported increases in confidence and comfort, though it seems unlikely that an increase in physician comfort levels with queer and trans patients (...) will necessarily mean better health care for queers. More attention to current felt discomfort in patient–provider encounters is required. Policies and practices that avoid discomfort at all costs are not always helpful for care, and experiences of shared discomfort in queer health contexts are not always harmful. (shrink)
Aims and objectives. Participant narratives from a feminist and queer phe- nomenological study aim to broaden current understandings of trauma. Examin- ing structural marginalisation within perinatal care relationships provides insights into the impact of dominant models of care on queer birthing women. More specifically, validation of queer experience as a key finding from the study offers trauma-informed strategies that reconstruct formerly disempowering perinatal relationships. Background. Heteronormativity governs birthing spaces and presents considerable challenges for queer birthing women who may also have (...) an increased risk of trauma due to structurally marginalising processes that create and maintain socially constructed differences. Design. Analysis of the qualitative data was guided by feminist and queer phe- nomenology. This was well suited to understanding queer women’s storied narra- tives of trauma, including disempowering processes of structural marginalisation. Methods. Semistructured and conversational interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of thirteen queer-identified women who had experiences of birthing in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. Results. Validation was identified as meaningful for queer women in the context of perinatal care in rural Nova Scotia. Offering new perspectives on traditional models of assessment provide strategies to create a context of care that recon- structs the birthing space insofar as women at risk do not have to come out as queer in opposition to the expectation of heterosexuality. Conclusions. Normative practices were found to further the effects of structural marginalisation suggesting that perinatal care providers, including nurses, can challenge dominant models of care and reconstruct the relationality between queer women and formerly disempowering expectations of heteronormativity that govern birthing spaces. Relevance to clinical practice. New trauma-informed assessment strategies recon- struct the relationality within historically disempowering perinatal relationships through potentiating difference which avoids retraumatising women with re- experiencing the process of coming out as queer in opposition to the expectation of heterosexuality. (shrink)
In this article, the theme of introductory engagement is developed through the conversational interviews and participatory observations I carried out with perinatal nurses and birthing women in the context of a feminist phenomenological methodology. Positioned against the landscape of hierarchical health care practices embedded with power dynamics and disembodied practices, this research explored the ways in which perinatal nurses related to birthing women in the context of relational care. The focus of attention in this article is to describe the theme (...) of introductory engagement by way of a storied phenomenological text. (shrink)
An understanding of autonomy has important significance in North American health care. Although a respect for autonomy is necessary to protect the self-determination and agency of birthing women in hospital settings, I suggest that enactments of autonomy that are independent of relationships offer only an incomplete interpretation of such a vital concept. In this article I explore an understanding of autonomy situated within the context of a relational birthing narrative. In so doing, autonomy becomes conceptualized as contextual and concrete, giving (...) rise to an embodied view of the birthing woman. (shrink)