A meta-ethnography of the acculturation and socialization experiences of migrant care workers

Authors


Abstract

Aim

To report a meta-ethnography of qualitative research studies exploring the acculturation and socialization experiences of migrant care workers.

Background

Migrant care workers are increasingly participating in health and social care in developed countries. There is a need to understand this increasingly socioculturally diversified workforce.

Data sources

A comprehensive search through 12 databases and a manual search of journals related to transculture for studies on socialization and acculturation experiences (published 1993–2013) was completed. The inclusion criteria were peer-reviewed studies on the acculturation or socialization experiences of migrant care workers published in English in any country, using a qualitative or mixed-methods approach.

Design and Review methods

This meta-ethnography employed the seven-phase Noblit and Hare method with reciprocal translation, refutational synthesis and lines-of-argument to synthesize qualitative studies.

Results

Three main themes were identified: (a) schema for the migration dream: optimism; (b) the reality of the migration dream: so close, yet so far; and (c) resilience: from chaos to order. A general framework of motivated psychosocial and behavioural adaptation was proposed. This meta-ethnography also revealed the vulnerabilities of migrant nurses in the process of acculturation and socialization.

Conclusions

The general framework of behavioural and psychosocial adaptation revealed factors that impede and facilitate behavioural and psychosocial changes. Strategies to enrich external and internal resources should be targeted at encouraging multiculturalism and at improving the psychosocial resources of migrant care workers. It is suggested that research investigating the prominence of nursing vulnerabilities be conducted.

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