What we’re doing
As nursing students and future nurses, we hope to break down stereotypes and challenge the dominant perspectives to affect language that is more inclusive. Through modelling and actively practicing using validating, inclusive, and positive language, we hope to change our implicit behaviour, promote positive therapeutic communication, and be aware of how we make our patients feel.
Why it matters
Language has the ability to include and exclude. Through recognition, reflection, and active change we want to ensure our practice is consistent with social inclusivity and reflect on the responsibility inherent in our ability to impact peoples’ lives with our words.
Where do we begin?
There is ample evidence from published studies that language use and its evolution is an important means to rectify embedded stereotypes or implicit categorizations and hierarchies (Sczesny, 2015). One of the first instances of language awareness and rectification comes from scientific writing, with the understanding that historically under identified or marginalized groups were left unrepresented (Hall, 2015). With evolution of acceptable language and its adoption in more mainstream avenues, it is important to use evidence from journals, texts, and lived experiences to inform our own personal language emancipation.
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