A Narrative Inquiry into Indigenous Nurses' Experiences of Care: A Dialogic/Performative Narrative Analysis
Green, Brenda Lynn
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One of the most fundamental social processes regularly explored in nursing practice and education is the concept of care and caring. This study suggests that the more deeply we understand the experience of caring in our own lives, the more we realize its centrality as a human condition activated through human relations. Understanding care involves attentiveness to the social and historical conditions of life that demands sensitivity to the ways in which pre-professional experiences impact values, interests, processes, needs, and desires and how these tenets are performed in the nurse’s practice. This research involved a three-year collection of the life stories of Indigenous nurses who work in a rural First Nations community by exploring the relationship between their lived experience and the way in which meaning of these experience(s) are understood and practiced in nursing. Utilizing Polkinghorne’s narrative analysis and Ricoeur’s concept of mimesis, this study focuses on the process of the reflective/pre-narrative, emplotment and narrative reconfiguration as a way to better understand narrative structure and meaning of experiences. Riessman’s dialogic/performative narrative analysis is utilized to examine how Indigenous nurses’ identity is constructed through their performance and relationship within larger social constructs such as individual, community, and professional groups. Specifically this analysis emphasizes narratives are understood and shaped through these interactions. Acknowledging pre-professional experiences of care attends to the ethical implications of particular, proximal and partial relations in which Indigenous nurses are typically involved. Knowledge of caring from an Indigenous philosophical and epistemological worldview may enable nurses and other health professionals to more fully understand the nature of care and caring behaviors, patterns and processes that shape a caring practice.