Consultant Admiral Nurse for Diverse and Under-served Communities, Paulette Winchester-Joseph, has recently set up a Diversity Champions Network for Admiral Nurses. Paulette shares her tips for championing diversity and information about what she hopes to achieve.
What steps should an Admiral Nurse take when supporting a family from a diverse or under-served background?
There are many steps that Admiral Nurses can take to provide sensitive care to a family from a diverse/under-served background:
Be aware of the different needs of diverse communities. Aim to learn more about what matters to them and consider the holistic needs of the family. Let your colleagues know what you’re doing and why, and encourage them to provide more culturally appropriate care
Avoid making assumptions – be curious, and don’t assume that you know what’s best for the family. If you’re unsure about something, simply ask the family. Most people from diverse communities want and appreciate a healthcare provider who is willing to listen and understand their different needs. When asking questions, make sure your body language communicates openness and an intent to truly hear the person
Build trust and rapport – this is an essential part of providing personalised care and support. Use effective communication skills that you’ve developed as an Admiral Nurse. Be mindful of your own unconscious bias
Overcome language barriers – this may involve asking your organisation for a translator. Use pictures or hand gestures to communicate when necessary and remember to be patient
Inform families about medical practices using your communication skills and actively listen to their needs so that they can give informed consent when a decision needs to be made
What is the Diversity Champions Network?
The Diversity Champions Network is a group of Admiral Nurses with a passion and enthusiasm for promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in their settings. The Network offers an opportunity for nurses to come together to learn and improve their skills, knowledge and practice.
The Network acts as an information resource for colleagues who want to know more about diversity and inclusion. This improves the experience of dementia care for families from diverse and under-served communities.
What do you hope to achieve with the Diversity Champions Network?
We hope to encourage creativity and innovation through a shared passion of providing excellent dementia care. Admiral Nurses come from many different backgrounds and have different experiences and perspectives. The Network encourages them to share their skills and knowledge so we can resolve issues as a group and highlight the importance of culturally sensitive care.
We want all Admiral Nurses, regardless of their backgrounds, to feel valued and motivated to champion diversity throughout their careers.
How can an Admiral Nurse champion diversity in their workplace?
Admiral Nurses are well placed within their organisations to influence knowledge and best practice around diversity through personal responsibility, integrity, innovation and trust. They can raise awareness and share information and best practice in their settings. They can challenge negative attitudes and behaviours by creating a fair and inclusive culture in their workplace.
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