Arab Muslim Nurses' Experiences of the Meaning of Caring
Repository Posting Date2012-01-11T10:59:06Z
Author(s)Lovering, Sandra R.
Author DetailsSandra R. Lovering, BScN, MBS, DHSc
(41st Biennial Convention) Introduction: The aim of this study was to understand the meaning of caring as experienced by Arab Muslim nurses within the context of Arab culture. A qualitative approach using interpretive, reflexive ethnographic methodology based on the approaches of Geertz (1973), Fitzgerald (1997) and Davies (1999) develops a description that embeds the phenomena of the nurses' meaning of caring within its cultural context. Methods/Procedures: Strategies for concurrent data generation and analysis to achieve thick description included immersion in the experiences of Arab Muslim nurses within Saudi Arabia. Data generation focused on answering the following questions: 1) What is the explanatory model used by Arab Muslim nurses in the caring experience? 2) What is the meaning of caring as expressed through the narratives of the Arab Muslim nurses? An extensive validation process with expert insiders, conference presentations and validation focus groups resulted in the co-creation of a model of caring, the 'Crescent of Care'. Results: Arab Muslim nurses have a religiously informed explanatory model where health is spiritual, physical and psycho-social well-being. Spirituality is central to the belief system, where caring is an act of spirituality and an action by the nurse to facilitate his or her own spirituality and that of the patient. Discussion/Conclusions: These findings suggest professional models are blended into nurses' indigenous worldviews in a way that makes sense within their cultural world. As a result, caring is based on shared meaning systems between nurse and patient. The model of caring and use of a culturally informed explanatory model in the caring experience add to knowledge about the cultural construction of caring in a non-Western cultural context.