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October 2021

Curationis. 1997 Mar; 20(1): 2-7.

Confronting diversity: experiences of nurses in a sanatorium.

Herselman S.

Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of South Africa, Pretoria.

Tuberculosis has been identified as a major health problem in South Africa. Although the trend is towards treatment from clinics, in certain cases patients are admitted to a sanatorium, which means that they may come into contact with nursing staff whose frame of reference regarding tuberculosis frequently differs from their own. In this contact situation a number of problems were seen to arise, both as a result of circumstances within the sanatorium and because many patients retain health-beliefs of a more traditional kind. The purpose of this study is to investigate how some nurses who are confronted with socio-cultural diversity in a sanatorium experience and deal with such problems. A number of strategies that may be applied in approaching socio-cultural diversity are suggested from an anthropological perspective Data were collected during interviews with members of the nursing staff of a sanatorium.

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