Nurses can apply their care delivery models and philosophies to provide exemplary services to patients from diverse backgrounds. They should also engage in lifelong learning in an attempt to identify evidence-based measures for improving the health outcomes of the people they serve. This paper describes how the nursing process is a powerful model capable of guiding and empowering practitioners to delivery culturally competent care. The targeted population is that of African Americans affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
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Nurse practitioners (NPs) should be aware of the unique medical challenges every racial group faces. This knowledge can guide them to develop powerful care delivery models that can produce positive results. Cultural competence is a useful attribute that makes it easier for NPs and physicians to provide exemplary medical services to diverse populations. Since there are no established guidelines for maintaining this attribute, past studies have presented evidence-based ideas that can result in high-quality health support. This formal paper discusses how medical professionals can apply the nursing process to deliver culturally competent care to African Americans suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Skilled practitioners follow the nursing process to ensure that their patients receive high-quality and personalized medical support. This is a powerful model that empowers clinicians and NPs to achieve their potential. The first stage is called the assessment phase whereby caregivers collect the targeted patient’s spiritual, sociological, physiological, and psychological information. Physical examinations or interviews are helpful to gather relevant data or information.
This will be followed by the diagnosing phase whereby NPs make informed judgments regarding the health problems the individual is facing (McDougle, Davies, & Clinchot, 2017). The practitioner will then determine whether the patient can undergo treatment or if he or she has some form of syndrome. The third stage is that of planning whereby nurses develop the best action plan after liaising with the individual. The practitioner formulates measureable goals depending on the identified risk factors and symptoms.
The fourth step is the implementation phase whereby NPs consider the outlined plan to deliver positive results. During this phase, practitioners should monitor their patients’ symptoms and signs continuously until there are improvement signs. Individuals can receive timely instructions in order to be part of the health management plan (Cai, Kunaviktikul, Klunklin, Sripusanapan, & Avant, 2017). The last stage of this process is that of evaluation. Its purpose is to examine whether the outlined goals have been realized. The entire process can be repeated if the patent fails to record positive results.
The concept of cultural competence has become a powerful tool that healthcare professionals should take seriously if they are to deliver evidence-based medical services. This model will include skills, knowledge, and attitudes that can ensure that people from diverse backgrounds receive high-quality care. This is something critical since culture is a powerful force capable of influencing people’s practices and NPs’ ability to offer desirable health support (Cai et al., 2017). The attribute of knowledge means that NPs can engage in lifelong learning to learn more about the values and traditions of the identified group.
The idea of attitude is what makes it possible for NPs to understand people’s thoughts and behaviors. With this kind of knowledge, medical experts will plan the most appropriate care delivery approaches for members of the targeted culture. They should go further to consider these attributes: customs, spiritual aspects, family unit and interactions, and gender roles (Hart & Mareno, 2016). The final thing to consider is for practitioners to develop a powerful skill set that can make them efficient providers of culturally-competent care. When applied effectively, chances are high that more health professionals will be in a position to provide exemplary services to their respective patients.
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Application of the Nursing Process
African Americans form an integral part of the United States’ minority population. Members of this race continue to grapple with various challenges that make it impossible for them to lead high-quality lives. Some of them include disparities in care delivery, terminal conditions, and lack of employment opportunities. In 2017, the cultural group formed around 43 percent of all new HIV diagnoses recorded in this country (McDougle et al., 2017). This means that African Americans continue to lead unhealthy lifestyles due to the problems associated with this terminal condition. The unavailability of appropriate care delivery systems, government resources, and drugs makes it impossible of many people to deal with this health problem.
African Americans promote certain cultural behaviors that can either support the management of HIV or expose them to opportunistic infections. This knowledge explains why there is a need for NPs and other health specialists to consider the power of the nursing process to deliver exemplary medical support to members of this underserved population. The nature of HIV/AIDS makes it possible for many people from this racial group to engage in evidence-based activities and practices that can meet their health demands (Le et al., 2016). Nurses who are required to provide medical services to African Americans suffering from HIV/AIDS will have to consider the above elements of holistic health support.
The first one is that of cultural knowledge. Such NPs will undertake numerous studies to identify the norms associated with these individuals. Some of the common ones include the belief in sympathetic magic and traditional healing procedures that can result in positive health outcomes. Members of this culture are unable to receive high-quality medical services due to their financial positions and inadequate education (Blake, Taylor, & Sowell, 2016). Others fail to pursue evidence-based behaviors that can fulfill their health demands. Additionally, some African Americans have been embracing the power of drugs to manage this condition.
The second aspect is that of cultural skill and it guides nurses to learn more about the patient’s presenting issues or problems. Using this concept, nurses will learn what the targeted individual thinks about the disease, its severity, and the most appropriate treatment regime (McDougle et al., 2017). The professional can go further to consider some of the traditional practices that are capable of supporting the HIV healing and management processes. The third attribute is that of cultural encounters whereby NPs consider barriers to communication, language differences, personal space, involvement of other family members, inclusion of traditional healers or church leaders, voice volume, and problem-solving approaches.
With the above kind of information, skilled NPs can find it easier to use the nursing process to offer culturally competent care to African American patients facing the HIV/AIDS problem. During the first stage, the professional will identify the presented individual in an attempt to learn more about his or her past medical history, family status, religious views or values, and cultural attributes. Members of this group will expect that the healthcare provider remains passionate and empathic (Hart & Mareno, 2016).
A sense of respect is essential since many African Americans have faced different forms of discrimination in this country. It is relevant to maintain personal space throughout the assessment phase (McDougle et al., 2017). Clinicians and practitioners will have to involve family members and friends during this stage in order to record positive results.
The diagnosis stage is essential since the NP will identify the presenting symptoms and learn more about the drugs or practices that the individual has embraced to treat or manage the condition. Since HIV has several levels of progression, there is a need for every NP to get the best information in an attempt to create the best service delivery model. Similarly, the involvement of family members and spiritual leaders during this stage is something essential. The planning phase is when the practitioners consider the whole concept of culturally competent care (Le et al., 2016). The medical professional will gather relevant insights from the patient’s family members. The practitioner should focus on the unique principles of nursing if positive results are to be recorded.
Sine the most important objective is to ensure that culturally competent medical support is available to the African American patient, it will be necessary for every NP to seek the individual’s informed consent. The targeted patient will present his or her views regarding the involvement of a traditional healer, a magician, or a religious leader throughout the disease management process. The practitioner will also have to guide and educate the person about the importance of various antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs that can produce positive health results (McDougle et al., 2017).
During the same phase, the clinician can use the gathered information to determine the effectiveness and relevance of certain herbal products that members of this culture utilize to manage the signs and symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS (Blake et al., 2016). The inclusion of prayers or meditation sessions in the plan of action will be an evidence-based approach that resonates with the cultural competent model of care delivery.
With this kind of information about the targeted African American beneficiary, the NP will implement the proposed treatment strategy in an attempt to transform his or her health experiences. The fourth phase of nursing model allows medical professionals to offer personalized services depending on the identified symptoms or demands. The practitioner can consider such a phase to introduce a multidisciplinary team since it can deliver advanced outcomes.
Such a group can include different experts, including physicians, dieticians, religious leaders, family members, and psychotherapists. These professionals will collaborate to monitor the patient, provide desirable support, solve emerging issues, and formulate the most appropriate self-care plan depending on the exhibited symptoms (Blake et al., 2016). These members can also collaborate during the implementation phase to educate the patient. Hart and Mareno (2016) indicate that this stage of the nursing process might take months to complete if the targeted beneficiary has a terminal condition, such as HIV/AIDS. The dietician can provide powerful insights that can guide the patient to consider specific food materials and supplements in order to improve his or her medical outcomes.
The practitioner can consider the patient’s data to propose specific herbs and traditional practices that can support the entire disease management process. It is during the same stage when the spiritual leader to encourage the African American patient to embrace the power of prayers (Le et al., 2016). The professionals in the multidisciplinary team also should liaise with the patient to understand whether he or she embraces traditional healing practices.
Nurses can go further to engage other colleagues who are conversant with the patient’s language and cultural behaviors. Such a team can consider the most appropriate measures to overcome potential barriers to care delivery. This knowledge will guide them to implement powerful educational tools and encourage the patient to continue using ARTs (Blake et al., 2016). Family members will receive timely ideas that can empower them to support the targeted individual.
During the evaluation phase, practitioners will conduct a detailed study aimed at determining if the anticipated patient outcomes have been met. If there are no signs of health improvement, the NP can consider the need to begin again from the first stage (Le et al., 2016). It would also be appropriate for professionals to encourage more African Americans to engage in healthy behaviors, acquire ART drugs, and use condoms to overcome the challenges associated with this deadly disease.
The above discussion has revealed that the application of the nursing model can guide NPs to render culturally competent medical support and care to African Americans suffering from HIV/AIDS. They should possess the required knowledge, be aware of the cultural attributes associated with this racial group, and improve their skills in an attempt to provide personalized services. The use of multidisciplinary teams will make a significant difference for many NPs and guide them to become skilled providers of culturally competent medical services.
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Cai, D., Kunaviktikul, W., Klunklin, A., Sripusanapan, A., & Avant, P. K. (2017). Identifying the essential components of cultural competence in a Chinese nursing context: A qualitative study. Nursing and Health Sciences, 19, 157-162. Web.
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Le, H., Hipolito, M. M., Lambert, S., Terrell-Hamilton, F., Rai, N., McLean, C., … Nwulia, E. (2016). Culturally sensitive approaches to identification and treatment of depression among HIV infected African American adults: A qualitative study of primary care providers’ perspectives. Journal of Depression and Anxiety, 5(2), 223. Web.
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