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Caring for the Caregiver

Gottschalk, Miriam LU (2013) TKAM02 20131
Division of Ethnology
Abstract
When a person becomes a patient in the Auckland City Hospital, the largest public hospital in New Zealand, they often bring one or more family members with them for mental and physical support. This thesis focuses on these support persons, who in this thesis are referred to as the patient caregivers and their perspectives on staying at Te Whare Awhina (TWA). TWA is an accommodation provider run under Maori protocol for carergivers of patients in the Auckland City Hospital who live outside of the Auckland Region. As a rule patients and their caregivers undergo serious personal crises during their stay at the hospital due to being in an unfamiliar environment and an unpredictable situation. This thesis asks how the caregivers can best be... (More)
When a person becomes a patient in the Auckland City Hospital, the largest public hospital in New Zealand, they often bring one or more family members with them for mental and physical support. This thesis focuses on these support persons, who in this thesis are referred to as the patient caregivers and their perspectives on staying at Te Whare Awhina (TWA). TWA is an accommodation provider run under Maori protocol for carergivers of patients in the Auckland City Hospital who live outside of the Auckland Region. As a rule patients and their caregivers undergo serious personal crises during their stay at the hospital due to being in an unfamiliar environment and an unpredictable situation. This thesis asks how the caregivers can best be supported and approached when they are in distress.

Observations, semi-structured interviews, auto-ethnography and photo-ethnography were used to gather the empirical material for the cultural analysis of what TWA is and how it supports the carergivers of patients in the Auckland Hospital.

This thesis found that TWA is a heterotopia, since the service has a unique function as it cares for the carergivers of adult Auckland City Hospital patients; it provides accommodation and interpersonal support for them. Also TWA is influenced by a female ethics of care and the Maori Value system, which means that certain values are associated with the TWA staff being female and their way of performing care, certain qualities of which also connect to the Maori worldview through which TWA needs to be understood.

The thesis also analyzes the individual experience of being a caregiver staying at Te Whare Awhina in terms of a journey rather than a fixed stay. During their stay caregivers learn to establish daily routines and how to move between different centres and peripheries in order to cope and survive their crisis. Furthermore the social interaction between caregivers and between caregivers and the Maori staff is crucial to the quality of the service of TWA; for example the issue of belonging is discussed, which is constituted through the informal set up of TWA, the buoyant attitude and professionalism of staff, a shared understanding between caregivers and their (often) similar cultural identity. Finally, the significance and application of ethical values in this type of research is also stressed.

The thesis results are first and foremost communicated back to Te Whare Awhina to apply in their service, but may be used by other institutions providing similar services. Researchers and health care professionals might employ these findings to understand and create an optimal environment for patients’ caregivers in a variety of settings. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Gottschalk, Miriam LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Understanding the quality of the Te Whare Awhina service from the residents’ perspective
course
TKAM02 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Patient support, Patient- family centered care, Care giving, Heterotopia, Female ethic of care, Maori value system, Belonging, Travel, Ethics, Centre and Periphery, Ethnology, Ethnographics, Etnologi, Etik, Vård
language
English
id
3955119
date added to LUP
2013-12-12 15:15:08
date last changed
2013-12-12 15:15:08
@misc{3955119,
  abstract     = {When a person becomes a patient in the Auckland City Hospital, the largest public hospital in New Zealand, they often bring one or more family members with them for mental and physical support. This thesis focuses on these support persons, who in this thesis are referred to as the patient caregivers and their perspectives on staying at Te Whare Awhina (TWA). TWA is an accommodation provider run under Maori protocol for carergivers of patients in the Auckland City Hospital who live outside of the Auckland Region. As a rule patients and their caregivers undergo serious personal crises during their stay at the hospital due to being in an unfamiliar environment and an unpredictable situation. This thesis asks how the caregivers can best be supported and approached when they are in distress.

Observations, semi-structured interviews, auto-ethnography and photo-ethnography were used to gather the empirical material for the cultural analysis of what TWA is and how it supports the carergivers of patients in the Auckland Hospital.

This thesis found that TWA is a heterotopia, since the service has a unique function as it cares for the carergivers of adult Auckland City Hospital patients; it provides accommodation and interpersonal support for them. Also TWA is influenced by a female ethics of care and the Maori Value system, which means that certain values are associated with the TWA staff being female and their way of performing care, certain qualities of which also connect to the Maori worldview through which TWA needs to be understood.

The thesis also analyzes the individual experience of being a caregiver staying at Te Whare Awhina in terms of a journey rather than a fixed stay. During their stay caregivers learn to establish daily routines and how to move between different centres and peripheries in order to cope and survive their crisis. Furthermore the social interaction between caregivers and between caregivers and the Maori staff is crucial to the quality of the service of TWA; for example the issue of belonging is discussed, which is constituted through the informal set up of TWA, the buoyant attitude and professionalism of staff, a shared understanding between caregivers and their (often) similar cultural identity. Finally, the significance and application of ethical values in this type of research is also stressed.

The thesis results are first and foremost communicated back to Te Whare Awhina to apply in their service, but may be used by other institutions providing similar services. Researchers and health care professionals might employ these findings to understand and create an optimal environment for patients’ caregivers in a variety of settings.},
  author       = {Gottschalk, Miriam},
  keyword      = {Patient support,Patient- family centered care,Care giving,Heterotopia,Female ethic of care,Maori value system,Belonging,Travel,Ethics,Centre and Periphery,Ethnology,Ethnographics,Etnologi,Etik,Vård},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Caring for the Caregiver},
  year         = {2013},
}