SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • health promotion;
  • professional-client relations;
  • special populations;
  • stigma

Abstract

This Clinical Concepts article concerns the relational tools required by public health nurses to establish relationships with single mothers living on public assistance, mothers who are vulnerable and often stigmatized. The implications of stigmatization for relationship building are highlighted based on previous research investigating how public health nurses working in Canadian jurisdictions establish professional caring relationships with this cohort of mothers. Public health nurses employed interactional strategies including engaging in a positive manner and offering verbal commendations which served as effective relational tools to break through mothers' walls of defensiveness and to resume the dynamic process of relationship building. Building Relationship is a key practice standard for public health nurses and is instrumental to their work at both individual and community levels to improve social determinants of health. The author concludes with recommendations to facilitate building relationships during everyday public health nursing practice.