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Making a difference to Maori health.

A desire to share her experiences and to encourage other nurses to look at their practice and the influences that shape it, inspired the first Maori nurse practitioner (NP) Janet Maloney-Moni to publish Kia Mana: A Synergy of Wellbeing earlier this year.

The 219-page book grew out of her master's thesis, for which she received first class honours in 2004. "Family, friends and colleagues wanted to know what I had done with the research. They believed it could be useful for others and they encouraged me to publish it. I decided to self-publish, as I did not want any part of the content changed."

Maloney-Moni describes the book as a journey of reflection and inquiry as she seeks to understand, explain and validate her practice as a Maori nurse working with Maori clients. She has used the research methodology of autoethnography to review her life, revisit significant events and to reflect on what she does in her practice that brings positive health outcomes for her clients. Autoethnography involves the researcher being the subject of the research. Maloney-Moni has included narratives from her own life that have contributed to her nursing practice, including her experiences as a health consumer and mother, and her upbringing with a dual identity. Her mother was Maori and her father is Scottish. From her study, a model of care has emerged that combines the old and the new worlds; the Maori and the Pakeha worlds; the cultural and the clinical worlds. Together, she says, they generate expert kaupapa Maori clinical practice.

"When I began my research I was unaware it would plunge me so completely into exploring my own experiences and the significance of those experiences. Using autoethnography assisted me to look inside myself and identify the cultural patterns I use in my nursing care. The research grew out of the work I was doing as a mobile disease state management nurse in north Waikato. My colleagues could see that what I was doing was making a difference for Maori clients and knew that whatever I was doing was improving their health. I began asking myself the questions--how was I making a difference and what in particular was different in what I was doing? The research led me along a pathway that included becoming an NP, enabling me to return home to Opotiki and work among my own people."

When she began her thesis, Maloney-Moni had expected to produce a model of kaupapa Maori nursing practice that others could pick up and use. But she later realised the framework could not be so easily reproduced. "Each nurse must recognise her or his own unique social and cultural context, and develop her own particular framework. However, the process is genetic and can be learned and used by nurses wanting to reflect on their clinical and cultural knowledge and skills."

Maloney-Moni launched her book at the end of March at Waahi Marae in Huntly, with the clients who feature in it. Her first 100 copies have now gone, plus a further print run of 70. "Orders for the book are coming in all the time. Nursing colleagues I don't even know want it, including some in Canada, the United States and Australia." Maloney-Moni is thoroughly enjoying running her own nursing service and getting involved in her own community. Her practice uses clinical expertise and traditional healing to treat all aspects of patients' wellbeing--emotional, spiritual and cultural--aspects not always met by mainstream health services. However, she also has to discipline herself to complete her portfolio for prescribing rights, which she hopes to gain later this year. "I would rather spend all my time in the community with patients, but l just have to stick with my studies a little longer to reach this next goal."

Kia Mana: A Synergy of Wellbeing can be ordered from Moni Nursing Services, 82 Nelson Street, Opotiki. The cost, including postage and packaging, is $28.
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Title Annotation:NEWS AND EVENTS
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Jun 1, 2006
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