"And then you'll see her in the Grocery store": The working relationships of public health nurses and high-priority families in northern Canadian communities

Nancy J. Moules, Martha L.P. MacLeod, Lorraine M. Thirsk, Neil Hanlon

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The aim of the study is to examine and articulate the nature of working relationships of public health nurses and high-priority families in small communities in northern Canada. Public health nurses working in northern, rural, and remote communities face unique and varied challenges. Reportedly, the hardest part of their job is working with families who have been deemed high priority or high risk. Working with these families in these contexts relies on relationships of reciprocity, trust, and communication. This qualitative research was guided by an interpretive hermeneutic inquiry; 32 families, 25 public health nurses, and three lay home visitors were interviewed from July 2005 through July 2006. Analysis was completed individually and through teamwork of the researchers. Findings suggest that the working relationship of public health nurses and high-priority families in northern communities is complex and multifaceted. Nurses carefully negotiate the process of engaging and entering relationships, maintaining the relationships, and negotiating boundaries. The analysis offers insight into the everyday practices and problems that public health nurses and families encounter in providing care to a vulnerable, isolated, and often marginalized population while navigating the complexity of living and working in the same small communities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)327-334
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Pediatric Nursing
    Volume25
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct. 2010

    Keywords

    • Families
    • Hermeneutics
    • Nurse-Client relationship
    • Public health nursing
    • Qualitative research
    • Rural

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