Health Professionals as Scientists: A Cultural Perspective

McClelland, Molly, and Jaquline Muli

Research Question:  How does the public perceive the role of health care providers as scientists and specifically do Kenyans and Canadians consider nurses to be scientists?

The sample for the study included adults who self-identified as Kenyan or Canadian living in the United States of America. Their ages ranged from 25 to 64 with (n=x; y%) being female and (n=x; y%) being male. Most of the participants were Kenyan (n=24; 84.61%) and the remaining (n=4) were Canadian.

The findings of this study indicated that the Kenyan participants were more likely to perceive biologists, pharmacists and doctors as scientists more often than they did any of the nurse professionals. This finding was consistent with the past research by East et al 2014, which found that even though nurses in Kenya are privy to research and practicing evidence based nursing, their autonomy was minimized by tradition and hierarchy, making nurses inferior to physicians.