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The Imperative to Confront Inequitable Access to Health Care

In the current Editor’s Pick article, author Deanna Bickford, MN, RN challenges nurses to take a leadership role in confronting inequitable access to health care.  She believes that doing so is achievable to the extent that nurses draw on the diversity reflected in nursing’s fundamental patterns of knowing.  In her article, “Postcolonial Theory, Nursing Knowledge, and the Development of Emancipatory Knowing” she addresses ways to uncover social injustice and disrupt the status quo in order to move closer to social justice in health care.  She has provided this message about the origin of her work in this area, inviting us as readers to comments and reply to her ideas:

I began exploring issues of health inequities as a BScN student and was shocked to learn about the inequities that exist for the Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Most Canadians enjoy one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. Yet, there are certain groups that exist within Canada, which due to a broad range of social, economic, personal, and environmental factors that go

Deanna Bickford with her grandson!

Deanna Bickford with her grandson!

beyond any individual choices they make, continue to experience health inequities. The Aboriginal peoples of Canada are one of these groups: they have a higher infant mortality rate, lower life expectancy at birth, higher rates of diseases of the circulatory system, digestive system, respiratory system, genital urinary system, nervous system, endocrine, nutritional and metabolic disease, infectious and parasitic diseases, dental and behavioral disorders, and neoplasms.

I have continued to follow this path of exploration throughout my studies and I am currently a PhD(c) at the University of Saskatchewan, College of Nursing. My research focuses on exploring health from the perspective of First Nations youth and seeks to understand First Nations ways of knowing and sharing knowledge for health. Guided by postcolonial theory this research aims to contribute to better understandings of the social, political, and colonial conditions that have lead to health inequities, to highlight the voices and strengths of those affected by these inequities, and ultimately contribute to the knowledge of the discipline. This article represents one part of my journey of discovery. Thank you for featuring this article and I look forward to the feedback.

Visit the ANS web site today to download your free copy of this article!  I join Ms. Bickford in welcoming your comments and feedback!

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