Aims: The aim of this study was to explore child and family health nurses’ (CaFHNs) understanding of racism. Background: Despite a growing literature examining racism in health care, few studies have explored health professionals’ understanding of racism and how they manage it in practice. Design: A qualitative descriptive design was employed. Methods: Five focus group discussions were held from January–June 2013 with 31 maternal, CaFHNs working across metropolitan South Australia. Data were analysed using thematic analysis with discourse analytic techniques. Findings: Focus group discussions identified three major themes: the relationship between racism and children's health care; perception of racist health system structures that have an impact on choice and relationship building; and the need for professionals to manage the tensions arising in everyday healthcare practice. Conclusions: Limited understandings of individual, structural, and ideological racism and racist practice were found. These were underpinned by discourses of multiculturalism and individualism within a framework of democratic racism. There is urgent need for nursing practice and pedagogy to centralize race and racialization to address inequities in health care.
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