23 research outputs found

    Nurses are Key Members of the Abortion Care Team: Why aren’t Schools of Nursing Teaching Abortion Care?

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    Abortion is a common and safe procedure in Canada, with the Canadian Institute for Health Information reporting approximately 100,000 procedures per year. Yet access remains problematic. As abortion is unrestricted by criminal law in Canada, access is limited by geographic barriers and by a shortage of providers. We present a feminist critical lens to describe how the marginalization of nursing and nurses in abortion care contributes to social stigma and public misunderstanding about abortion access. The roles of registered nurses and nurse practitioners in abortion advocacy, service navigation, counselling, education, support, physiological care and follow up are underutilized and under-researched. In 2015, decades after its availability elsewhere in the world, Health Canada approved mifepristone (a pill for medical abortion). In 2017, provincial regulators began to authorize nurse practitioners to independently provide medical abortion care, as appropriate given the inclusion in nurse practitioner scope of practice to order diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, and treat health conditions. Ensuring nurse practitioners are able to practice medical abortion has the potential to significantly increase abortion access for rural, remote and other marginalized populations. There is also an opportunity to optimize the registered nurse role in abortion care. However, achieving these improvements is challenging as abortion is not routinely taught in Canadian Schools of Nursing. We argue that to destigmatize abortion and improve access, undergraduate nursing and nurse practitioner programs across the country must begin to include abortion and family planning competencies

    Feminist Abolitionist Nursing

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    The converging crises of COVID-19 and racist state violence in 2020 shifted public discourse about marginalization, public health, and racism in unprecedented ways. Nursing responded to the pandemic with heroic commitment and new politicization. But public engagement with systemic racism is forcing a reckoning in nursing. The profession has its own history of racism and of alliance with systems of state control with which to contend. In this article, we argue nursing must adopt an ethics of abolitionism to realize its goals for health and justice. Abolitionism theorizes that policing and prison systems, originating from systems of enslavement and colonial rule, continue to function as originally intended, causing racial oppression and violence. The harms of these systems will not be resolved through their reform but through creation of entirely new approaches to community support. Nursing as a collective can contribute to abolitionist projects through advocacy, practice, and research

    Nurse practitioners on 'the leading edge' of medication abortion care: A feminist qualitative approach

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    AIMS: To explore nurse practitioners' experiences of medication abortion implementation in Canada and to identify ways to further support the implementation of medication abortion by nurse practitioners in Canada. DESIGN: A qualitative approach informed by feminist theory and integrated knowledge translation. METHODS: Qualitative interviews with stakeholders and nurse practitioners between January 2020 and May 2021. Data were analysed using critical feminist theory. RESULTS: Participants included 20 stakeholders, 16 nurse practitioner abortion providers, and seven nurse practitioners who did not provide abortions. We found that nurse practitioners conduct educational, communication and networking activities in the implementation of medication abortion in their communities. Nurse practitioners navigated resistance to abortion care in the health system from employers, colleagues and funders. Participants valued making abortion care more accessible to their patients and indicated that normalizing medication abortion in primary care was important to them. CONCLUSION: When trained in abortion care and supported by employers, nurse practitioners are leaders of abortion care in their communities and want to provide accessible, inclusive services to their patients. We recommend nursing curricula integrate abortion services in education, and that policymakers and health administrators partner with nurses, physicians, midwives, social workers and pharmacists, for comprehensive provincial/territorial sexual and reproductive health strategies for primary care. IMPACT: The findings from this study may inform future policy, health administration and curriculum decisions related to reproductive health, and raise awareness about the crucial role of nurse practitioners in abortion care and contributions to reproductive health equity. PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: This study focused on provider experiences. In-kind support was provided by Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights, an organization that provides direct support and resources to the public and is committed to advocating on behalf of patients and the public seeking sexual and reproductive health services

    Barriers and enablers to nurse practitioner implementation of medication abortion in Canada: A qualitative study

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    In this study we explored nurse practitioner-provided medication abortion in Canada and identified barriers and enablers to uptake and implementation. Between 2020-2021, we conducted 43 semi-structured interviews with 20 healthcare stakeholders and 23 nurse practitioners who both provided and did not provide medication abortion. Data were analyzed using interpretive description. We identified five overarching themes: 1) Access and use of ultrasound for gestational dating; 2) Advertising and anonymity of services; 3) Abortion as specialized or primary care; 4) Location and proximity to services; and 5) Education, mentorship, and peer support. Under certain conditions, ultrasound is not required for medication abortion, supporting nurse practitioner provision in the absence of access to this technology. Nurse practitioners felt a conflict between wanting to advertise their abortion services while also protecting their anonymity and that of their patients. Some nurse practitioners perceived medication abortion to be a low-resource, easy-to-provide service, while some not providing medication abortion continued to refer patients to specialized clinics. Some participants in rural areas felt unable to provide this service because they were too far from emergency services in the event of complications. Most nurse practitioners did not have any training in abortion care during their education and desired the support of a mentor experienced in abortion provision. Addressing factors that influence nurse practitioner provision of medication abortion will help to broaden access. Nurse practitioners are well-suited to provide medication abortion care but face multiple ongoing barriers to provision. We recommend the integration of medication abortion training into nurse practitioner education. Further, widespread communication from nursing organizations could inform nurse practitioners that medication abortion is within their scope of practice and facilitate public outreach campaigns to inform the public that this service exists and can be provided by nurse practitioners

    Optimizing the Nursing Role in Abortion Care: Considerations for Health Equity.

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    Registered nurses (RNs) provide abortion care in hospitals and clinics and support abortion care through sexual health education and family planning care in sexual health clinics, schools and family practice. Nurse practitioners (NPs) improve access to abortion not only as prescribers of medication abortion but also as primary care providers of counselling, resources about pregnancy options and abortion follow-up care in their communities. There is a need to better understand the current status of and potential scope for optimizing nursing roles in abortion care across Canada. In this article, we describe the leadership of nurses in the provision of accessible, inclusive abortion services and discuss barriers to role optimization. We present key insights from a priority-setting meeting held in 2019 with NPs and RNs engaged in medication abortion practice in their communities. As scopes of practice continue to evolve, optimization of nursing roles in abortion care is an approach to enhancing equitable access to comprehensive abortion care and family planning

    The Intersection of Abortion and Criminalization: Abortion Access for People in Prisons.

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    Most incarcerated women are of reproductive age, and more than a third of women will have an abortion during their reproductive years. Although women are the fastest growing population in Canadian prisons, no one has studied the effect of their incarceration on access to abortion services. Studies outside of Canada indicate rates of abortion are higher among people experiencing incarceration than in the general population, and that abortion access is often problematic. Although international standards for abortion care among incarcerated populations exist, there conversely appear to be no Canadian guidelines or procedures to facilitate unintended pregnancy prevention or management. Barriers to abortion care inequitably restrict people with unintended pregnancy from attaining education and employment opportunities, cause entrenchment in violent relationships, and prevent people from choosing to parent when they are ready and able. Understanding and facilitating equitable access to abortion care for incarcerated people is critical to address structural, gender-, and race-based reproductive health inequities, and to promote reproductive justice. There is an urgent need for research in this area to direct best practices in clinical care and support policies capable to ensure equal access to abortion care for incarcerated people

    “Breastfeeding in public” for incarcerated women: the baby-friendly steps

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    Abstract Background Women are the fastest-growing population in carceral facilities in Canada. Most incarcerated women are mothers, with above-average parity. The incarceration of women has implications not only for women’s health, but for that of their children. For example, how is breastfeeding and access to human milk supported in the context of imprisonment? Both carceral and health services are publicly-funded and administered in Canada. Due in part to the well-documented ill-health burden of imprisoned women, health and carceral functions overlap in the spaces of confinement. This paper discusses “breastfeeding in public” in relation to imprisoned women: separated from the public, yet in publicly-funded spaces under public servant control. With increasing adoption of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFI) Ten Steps in Canadian health centres, there is a need to consider the health centre spaces precluded from its application and make visible the women and children affected. This paper uses the BFI Steps as a lens to consider the environment of confinement for the breastfeeding incarcerated person. The exclusion of breastfeeding and access to human milk for imprisoned women and children extends the punitive carceral function beyond the experience of incarceration and beyond the experience of the convicted mother. Discussion Carceral facilities lack breastfeeding policies, foundational to breastfeeding support. Despite high fertility and parity among incarcerated women, carceral health care providers are not required to demonstrate maternity and reproductive health care specialization. The overarching mission of carceral institutions remains security, and support for breastfeeding among incarcerated women is hampered in spaces of conflict, punishment, surveillance and control. A minimal requirement to support exclusive breastfeeding is to promote the mother being with the infant and most incarcerated mothers are separated from their infants. Incarcerated women lack support, information, and community connections for extended breastfeeding beyond six months. Carceral facilities are not welcoming environments for breastfeeding families. Despite the incompatibility of breastfeeding with incarceration, BFI Step 10, coordinating discharge, demonstrates opportunity for improvement through community and health care provider engagement. Conclusion Incarceration challenges the reach and applicability of the BFI Steps to enhance breastfeeding and to problematize the idea of breastfeeding “in public.

    The Correctional Services Canada Institutional Mother Child Program: A Look at the Numbers

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    Women are the fastest growing population in federal prison in Canada. Women\u27s incarceration has significant implications for families, as approximately two-thirds have children who face intergenerational trauma, risk of criminalization, and health concerns. The Correctional Services Canada Mother Child Program allows children up to age six to live with their incarcerated mothers. Publicly available information about outcomes associated with the program is scarce, including the number of participants. Using data from 2000–2020 acquired through an Access to Information and Privacy request, this article presents descriptive statistics about the program. Findings indicate the program is underused, and associated outcomes are under-researched

    The Correctional Services Canada Institutional Mother Child Program: A Look at the Numbers

    No full text
    Women are the fastest growing population in federal prison in Canada. Women\u27s incarceration has significant implications for families, as approximately two-thirds have children who face intergenerational trauma, risk of criminalization, and health concerns. The Correctional Services Canada Mother Child Program allows children up to age six to live with their incarcerated mothers. Publicly available information about outcomes associated with the program is scarce, including the number of participants. Using data from 2000–2020 acquired through an Access to Information and Privacy request, this article presents descriptive statistics about the program. Findings indicate the program is underused, and associated outcomes are under-researched
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