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‘First tonight, the contentious new code telling nurses to say, ‘sorry for being white’: Mental health nurses’ beliefs about their Code of Conduct and cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Molloy, L, Beckett, P, Chidarikire, S ORCID: 0000-0002-8250-9876, Scott, MP, Guha, MD, Tran Merrick, T and Patton, D 2021 , '‘First tonight, the contentious new code telling nurses to say, ‘sorry for being white’: Mental health nurses’ beliefs about their Code of Conduct and cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' , International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, vol. 30, no. 6 , 1630–1639 , doi: 10.1111/inm.12916.

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Abstract

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s Code of Conduct for Nurses setsout the professional behaviour and conduct expectations for nurses in all practice settings. Thepublication of a revised version in 2018, which included expectations related to culturally safe andrespectful practice and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ health, causedreverberations beyond the profession of nursing. A controversy that the changes required nursesto verbally apologize for being white before their interactions with Aboriginal and Torres StraitIslander people gained the attention of the mainstream media. This interpretation, which camefrom outside nursing, was disputed by the Board. Challenged by these events, the authors wereinterested in understanding the actual impacts of the changes from the perspectives of nurses inpractice. This research, carried out nearly three years after publication, has focused specifically onthe speciality of mental health nurses in this context. The objective of this research was toundertake a social analysis focused on the impact that changes in the Code have had on theculture of mental health nursing utilizing a qualitative methodology. Eight mental health nurseswere interviewed. The research found that there was little evidence of any impact on mentalhealth nursing practice. Many of the participants were unaware of the amendments to the Code, whilst those nurses who were aware did not perceive that it had led to any real change withinmental health nursing or service delivery.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Molloy, L and Beckett, P and Chidarikire, S and Scott, MP and Guha, MD and Tran Merrick, T and Patton, D
Keywords: first nation peoples, indigenous peoples, nursing, mental health, cultural safety.
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
ISSN: 1445-8330
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/inm.12916
Copyright Information:

© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

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