Quality dementia care - Prerequisites and relational ethics among multicultural healthcare providers
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background: Many nursing homes are multicultural workplaces where the majority of healthcare providers have an ethnic minority background. This environment creates challenges linked to communication, interaction and cultural differences. Further, the healthcare providers have varied experiences and understanding of what quality care of patients with dementia involves. Purpose: The aim of this study is to illuminate multi-ethnic healthcare providers´ lived experiences of their own working relationship, and its importance to quality care for people with dementia. Research design: The study is part of a greater participatory action research (PAR) project: “Hospice values in the care for persons with dementia”. The data material consists of extensive notes from seminars, project meetings and dialogue-based teaching. The text material was subjected to phenomenological-hermeneutical interpretation. Participants and research context: Participants in the project were healthcare providers working in a nursing home unit. The participants, came from 15 different countries, had different formal qualifications, varied backgrounds and ethnic origins. Ethical considerations: The study is approved by the Norwegian Regional Ethics Committee (REK) and the Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD). Findings: The results show that good working relationships, characterized by understanding each other's vulnerability and willingness to learn from each other through shared experiences are prerequisites for quality care. The healthcare providers further described ethical challenges as uncertainty and different understandings. Discussion: The results are discussed in the light of Lögstrup's relational philosophy of ethics and the concepts of vulnerability, ethic responsibility, trust and openness of speech. Conclusion: The prerequisite for quality care for persons with dementia in a multicultural working environment is to create arenas for open discussions between the healthcare providers. Leadership is of great importance. Keywords Multicultural healthcare providers, lived experience, prerequisites, quality dementia care, relational ethics, phenomenological-hermeneutical method.