Author(s): Upvall MJ
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Abstract Ethnography implemented through interviews and participant observation was utilized to answer the question: "How do nurses from various health care settings (government, private, mission, industrial and non-governmental organizations) perceive collaboration between indigenous and cosmopolitan health care systems?". Fieldwork took place over a period of 12 months, and 65 nurses were formally interviewed. Religious affiliation and clinical setting may affect perceptions of collaboration. Nurses in mission and private rural practice perceive collaboration positively. Government nurses in rural settings indicate a need for national health policy to structure collaboration efforts, while government nurses in urban settings were ambivalent or expressed negative perceptions. Regardless of perceptions, all modes of collaboration expressed by nurses served to further the goals of cosmopolitan health care. Utilizing rural health motivators as culture brokers was suggested to enhance collaboration between indigenous and cosmopolitan health care systems. PIP: 65 Swaziland nurses were interviewed for an ethnographic study of their perception of possible collaboration between cosmopolitan medicine and indigenous health care system. ("Cosmopolitan" is the term for Western or scientific medicine.) Nurses provide most of the cosmopolitan health care services in Africa. Most nurses and their patients have experience with indigenous health providers. The nurses worked in government, private, mission, industrial, and non governmental organizations. The ethnographic method involved listening, observing, participating, and questioning. Results were taped, transcribed, and categorized into patterns and themes, assisted by THE ETHNOGRAPH computer program. All nurses perceived collaboration as teaching the healers and incorporating them into cosmopolitan health care, not the reverse. Religious affiliation and clinical setting affected perceptions, nurses in mission and private rural practice perceived collaboration positively. Government nurses in rural settings expressed a need for a national health policy toward structured collaboration. Urban nurses express negative attitudes toward incorporating indigenous practitioners into the cosmopolitan care setting. Utilizing rural health motivators as culture brokers was suggested to enhance collaboration between indigenous and cosmopolitan health care systems.
This article was published in Int J Nurs Stud
and referenced in Journal of Perioperative & Critical Intensive Care Nursing