Communication and daily care of Sami patients with dementia: healthcare workers` experiences
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Purpose: The purpose of the study is to gather new knowledge on the experience of healthcare staff in their communication and daily care with Sami patients with dementia. Method: Data was collected through five individual interviews. Interviewees were healthcare workers in a facility in Northern Norway who had daily care experience with Sami patients with dementia. The data from the interviews was analysed using descriptive and exploratory content analysis. Results: Healthcare staff reported that language was essential to the quality of care. Other essential factors included their knowledge of the Sami culture as a means of supporting the patients’ identities and activating their memories. Furthermore, awareness and focus were noted as supporting elements in care. Conclusion: The data confirmed the assumption that healthcare staff had faced problematic situations when working with patients from native Sami populations. The interviews revealed how healthcare workers dealt with problematic situations; including the use of interpreters, taking language classes and the use of dictionaries. It seemed that all the problems noted by healthcare workers had solutions but that the overall issue of communication problems with Sami patients’ needs more awareness.