Creating cross-racial primary care relationships in a nurse-managed center

Ramona Benkert, Joanne M Pohl, Patricia Coleman-Burns
Journal of Cultural Diversity 2004, 11 (3): 88-99
Culturally incompetent communication patterns with providers influence the health disparities of African Americans. Limited knowledge exists on cross-racial nurse practitioner nurse-patient relationships (NP-NPRs). The purpose of this paper is to describe how NPs and patients in cross-racial relationships developed primary care relationships in one nurse managed center (NMC). A qualitative design incorporated a social constructivist paradigm and the methodology of Interpretive Interactionism. Twenty cross-racial NP-patient dyads (White NPs and Black patients) participated in individual 1 to 3-hour audiotaped interviews regarding their ongoing relationships and the impact of the NMC. The analysis uncovered a rich description of the relationship processes from the initial meeting to its current state. Multiple themes for each phase, as well as, four typologies of primary care cross-racial NP-NPRs are described. Significant relationship work was needed by both partners to overcome communication misunderstandings, contextual aspects of cross-racial interactions and other overt and covert perceptions.

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