Cultural Issues in the Provision of Emergency Care to Irregular Migrants Who Arrive in Spain by Small Boats
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Sánchez Hernández F.
López Domene E.
Introduction: The European Union receives one third of the world’s migrant population who cross the Mediterranean Sea in small boats and arrive illegally in Europe. Irregular migrants (IMs) are persons who do not have legal permission, documentation, or refugee status and are not authorized to enter or stay in a given country. More than half a million IMs arrive in the European Union by sea creating serious public health issues in Greece, Italy, and Spain, thereby needing emergency care. The purpose of this study was to describe and understand the experiences of IMs who arrive in Spain by small boats in terms of cultural issues surrounding the provision of emergency care. Method: A qualitative study based on Gadamer’s phenomenology was used. Data were collected between 2015 and 2018 using 12 in-depth interviews of IMs. Results: Three main themes arose: “IMs driven by a culture of emigration in countries of origin,” “Facing risk in search of a better life,” and “The need for cultural adaptation in emergency care.” Discussion: Biopsychosocial and cultural needs must be addressed when providing emergency care to IMs who arrive in Europe by small boat. Implications: Nurses can help adapt and restructure cultural practices in the emergency care provided to IMs. © The Author(s) 2018.
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