Delivery of Care in Controversial Times: When the Police Are Involved and Communication Is Strained

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Dianne McAdams-Jones, EdD
Department of Nursing, Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, USA
John King, MBA
Provo Police Department, Provo Police Department, Provo, UT, USA
Tirsit Valentine
Social Work, Mrs., Orem, UT, USA

In today’s society, fraught with racial tensions over recent incidents of peace keeping having fatal contact within communities, there has to be concern for health care provider strain. In the wake of what certainly appears to be a quickening of racial tensions due to these recent events it could be asked..."how do I as a health care worker mitigate or what do I say to the families?”. In order to answer these questions, there may be a need to share some history on how we perceive ourselves as a care giver and ponder if we are culturally safe to practice in these environments. Living accordingly in any society will provide columns and lines or guidelines. Living between columns and lines provides security but it would not be good to live as in a caged society. Health care providers are without cultural boundaries and must embrace a practice of altruism on a daily bases inside and outside of the lines. This implies checking any social brain conflicts and biases at the door. Health care providers would never develop any scope of experience to share if they were not branching out beyond their assigned spaces. Life’s experiences will challenge beliefs; thus, the brain requires a check at the door, informed opinions and structure with focus on how to provide care in difficult spaces where unsafe emotional climates are abound. A local Police Chief in Utah County developed a Community Advisory Board to discuss issues occurring in unsafe emotional climates, to build healthy community relationships with local minorities and to foster education in areas of daily living where conflict is conflated with the unknown. Ongoing conversations on minority and community relationships involve health care providers, social workers, law enforcement, community stakeholders and local academia. These educational conversations continue to invite discomfort; yet, they conversate into safe spaces. How to introduce crucial conversations, keep the conversations going as well as how to move to safer places (when the conversation is strained) is the focus of a conversation about health care delivery in controversial times.