Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Conference, March 2013, Chicago, IL- Student Poster Presentations

Posted on March 21st, 2013 by


Christina Mantey, ’13

My senior independent research study was entitled, “Cultural Ethical Challenges: Exploring the Lived Experience of Midwives and Labor and Delivery Nurses When Caring for Culturally Diverse Perinatal Patients.”  Through this research I investigated how nurses and midwives care for and address the needs of culturally diverse patients.  I chose a qualitative research design as I wanted to elicit a more holistic sense of these professionals’ experiences and to invite these nurses to share stories and perceptions of appropriate nursing practice.  To collect data, I interviewed labor and delivery nurses and nurse-midwives about their experiences with an increasingly diverse client base.  I used open ended questions, such as, “Tell me about a time when you have been challenged ethically or professionally by the request of a patient or their family?” to begin the discussion.  I recorded, transcribed, and analyzed these interviews using Van Manen’s (1990) interpretative research method.  Through this analysis I identified several common themes: Partnering with the patient through cultural humility; Birth plan: Listening beyond the requests; Internet culture: Challenged by credible and erroneous information; and “Americanization”: Suppression of Culturally Traditional Practices.   An interesting finding in this study was that ethical challenges in caring for culturally diverse perinatal patients was not a part of  the lived experience described by nurses and midwives.  Another note of interest is that although nurse and midwife participants described a framework for listening to their culturally diverse patients with a sense of cultural humility, they were finding that many culturally diverse patients suppressed traditional ways in order to assimilate into what they perceived to be American ways.  Diverse patients desire to fit into Western society has led to the dismissal of traditional ways, including natural childbirth and breastfeeding. More research is needed to explore the cost of acculturation regarding birth outcomes among culturally diverse perinatal patients and the role nurses play in empowering diverse perinatal patients to uphold helpful traditional practices.

This opportunity to participate in nursing research and attend the Midwest Nursing Society Annual Conference has been one of the more educational and meaningful experiences of my undergraduate education.  By working closely with knowledgable mentors to design and analyze a professional research study, I feel that I have gained useful research skills that I can apply to my future in nursing.  The research presented at the conference sessions was not only innovative and exciting, but also inspirational: it gave me insight into the various areas of nursing practice and the opportunity to explore what fields I might be interested in pursuing.  I learned that nursing research is not only necessary to deliver best practice care to clients, but also fun to carry out.  I hope to continue to explore this essential area of nursing and actively use it to guide my practice.


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