Indigenous mothers' experiences of using acute care health services for their infants
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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To develop an understanding of how Indigenous mothers experience selecting and using health services for their infants can assist nurses in improving their access to care. This understanding may ultimately lead to improved health outcomes for Indigenous infants and their families. BACKGROUND: Access to acute care services is important to minimise morbidity and mortality from urgent health issues; however, Indigenous people describe difficulties accessing care. Indigenous infants are known to use the emergency department frequently, yet little is known about the facilitators and barriers their mothers experience when accessing these services. DESIGN: This study undertook a qualitative, interpretive description design. METHODS: This article adheres to the reporting guidelines of COREQ. Data collection methods included interviews and a discussion group with Indigenous mothers (n = 19). Data analysis was collaborative and incorporated both Indigenous and Western ways of knowing, through the application of Two-Eyed Seeing. RESULTS: A thematic summary resulted in six themes: (a) problematic wait times; (b) the hidden costs of acute care; (c) paediatric care; (d) trusting relationships; (e) racism and discrimination; and (f) holistic care. CONCLUSIONS: The experiences of Indigenous mothers using acute care services for their infants suggest a role for culturally safe and trauma and violence-informed care by health providers in the acute care context. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Nurses can improve access to acute care services for Indigenous mothers and infants through the provision of culturally safe and trauma and violence-informed approaches care, by building rapport with families, providing care that is respectful and nonjudgemental, eliminating fees associated with using acute care services and linking families with cultural resources both in hospital and within the community.
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