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Documenting the Cultural Dimension of Practice




  • Includes the personal observations of a Maori nurse who uses her eyes and ears to trace the history of Maori health development from ancient times to the present
  • Discusses the importance showing respect and sensitivity to a person's cultural identity
  • Explains the Fonofale Model of Health

This chapter explores the ways three New Zealand nurses have found to document the important cultural dimension in practice. From their work in communities with diverse cultural, social and health needs, they explain the emphasis they place on culture when assessing and documenting aspects of health.


Contents include

  • Maori Health: Nicola's Personal Perspective
    • Historical Perspective
    • Personal Observations
  • Multicultural Influences: Ruth's Approach
  • A Holistic Model Of Health For Pacific Island People: Eseta's Perspective
    • The Fonofale Model Of Health
  • In Summary
  • References
  • Suggested Reading
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Author / Editor Biographies

Mental health. Psychosocial/Cultural. Graduate Diploma in Advanced Nursing Practice (Counselling).
Ruth is a 32-year-old Goan woman who was born in Tanzania and has lived in Kenya, New Zealand and Tonga. Ruth developed a fascination with travel and culture, focusing on the food, rituals, stories and history of many cultures. As a comprehensive nurse, she has worked in mental health for nine years. Her special interests are immigrant mental health, the adjustment to parenthood, and family therapy. Ruth has followed her Graduate Diploma in Advanced Nursing Practice (Counselling) with Master's studies this year. She loves to read, cook, kayak, walk and swim; and dream up new adventures with he...
Eseta is a first-generation, New Zealand-born Samoan. She is a registered psychiatric nurse who trained at Carrington Hospital Nursing School. In 1990 Eseta was the first woman employed at the National Forensic Secure Unit, and a year later their first female charge nurse. Studying at Manawatu Polytechnic and Massey University, she completed the postgraduate Forensic Care Course in 1992, and the following year was appointed Project Manager Forensic Services for Good Health Wanganui. Eseta returned to Auckland in 1995 and was appointed the Pacific Islands Clinical Co-ordinator for Mental Health...
Nicola was born at Waipiro Bay in Te Tairawhiti (the eastern-most projection of New Zealand's North Island). She lived in Ruatoria until the age of ten when her family joined the urban drift and moved to Auckland. Nicola graduated as a psychiatric nurse in 1976 and since then has worked in many different care settings in New Zealand and Australia. Due to her interest in Maori health, Nicola has been included in local and national health-policy working parties. As well as her nursing skills, Nicola has developed a profile in contemporary Maori art and has exhibited since 1990. She currently liv...
Jocelyn is the Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Auckland Healthcare, the largest health provider agency in New Zealand. The organisation comprises major inpatient units-Auckland, Green Lane, National Women's and Starship Hospitals-and mental health and rehabilitation units. The service includes a large range of community services, including district nursing, public and mental health. Of the 7000 employees, 2700 are nurses and midwives working within culturally diverse communities. Jocelyn says, 'The nurses and midwives in the organisation share a commitment to meeting the needs of our pati...

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