- Article: Francis G (2011) Attitudes towards Gypsy Travellers. Nursing Times; 107: 39, early online publication.
- Author: Gill Francis is health inclusion worker for Travellers and Gypsies at Homerton University Hosptial, NHS Foundation Trust, London.
- Gypsy Travellers experience inequalities, and have poorer health than other English-speaking black and minority ethnic groups in the UK
- Nurses often have a limited understanding of Gypsy Travellers’ culture and issues affecting them; perceptions can be influenced by media stereotypes
- Bias is a normal survival mechanism; recognising this can make it easier to discuss negative views about a particular group
- In accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s code of conduct, nurses must demonstrate a professional and personal commitment to equality and diversity
- Training can help nurses to challenge negative attitudes, and explore how such views can lead to discriminatory practices
- What do the words “Gypsy” and “Traveller” mean to you?
- Where do your perceptions come from? For example, are they influenced by your personal experience of travellers or media stereotypes?
- If a nurse has negative perceptions of a particular group or community do you think this affects the care they give to people from that group?
- There is often a gap between personally held views and opinions and our public voice and professional practice. Is it possible to compartmentalise personal views from professional practice?
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