A Migrant Family's Experience of Palliative Nursing Care
The focus of this research was to explore the migrant family’s experience in palliative care. In writing this thesis it became evident that cultural safety was a connection that warranted further study in relation to end-of-life nursing care as was illustrated by the intergenerational case study of this migrant family in New Zealand.
The use of the case study method of qualitative research enabled the voice of the migrant to be heard and the story of the migrant family’s experience to be showcased. The uniqueness of this family’s palliative care experience was around the religious and cultural needs and migration as a process of transition from a previous society to a new one. Palliative care was defined by the family approach with strong community support and empowered by culturally safe and appropriate nursing practice.
End-of-life illness is a time when cultural perspectives are challenged for patients and their families and religious and cultural practices take on a new priority, regardless of how they have lived life previously. As a migrant nurse living and working in the New Zealand context I identify as an important factor, the nurse-patient interaction as an encounter between two cultural perspectives, the patient’s and the nurse as bearer of her own culture. Acknowledging this factor is an important step in developing a culturally safe approach to practice, an approach that proved to be a major ingredient in planning and caring for this patient and his family in end-of-life illness. This study and thesis explores the underpinnings of culturally safe palliative nursing care and identified ‘reflexive bracketing’ as a useful practice in the process.