Bridging cultural barriers through relational approaches : supporting trauma informed emergency care at West Coast General Hospital
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SubjectCultural humility; Cultural safety; Indigenous health leadership; Indigenous leadership; Trauma informed care
The dark colonial history, in which our current health system is rooted, affects how Indigenous populations engage with emergency care services. This inquiry examined how First Nations surrounding the Port Alberni area can inform and influence collaborative efforts to establish processes that better support trauma informed care for Elders accessing emergency care services at West Coast General Hospital (WCGH), and was part of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) called Developing Elders’ Support for Trauma Informed Emergency Departments (DESTINED). This study addressed health system changes in a manner that was informed by local area First Nations experience and notions of wellness. The study found a direct connection between notions of wellness and Elder family/social networks. It is evident that relationships and culture, both in an organizational and First Nations context, are key to understanding underlying issues of how First Nations Elders engage with emergency care services. Finally, this paper provided recommendations to support a partnered approach to advocacy, capacity building, and relationship building to improve emergency care services in a manner that is culturally safe and trauma informed.
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