Technological advancements have enabled individuals from different cultures and environments to relocate, work, and communicate together. The experience has been both exciting and frustrating. Some individuals find it hard to adjust to cultural differences leading to a drop in their performances (Eshleman, 2013). Concerning nursing practice, an understanding of cultural competence is very vital. Cultural competence enables nurses to uphold the rights and respect of all patients irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. The health care environment comprises professionals and patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. In their bid to enhance their cultural competence, nurses should understand that diverse belief systems exist in society. Beliefs about the health and illness of some communities may appear bizarre or worthless (Ludwig-Beymer, 2014). Similarly, some spiritual beliefs about health and illness may be difficult to comprehend. Nurses should note that they are not mandated to understand these values in totality, but rather embrace and show admiration for them. The article below focuses on areas that would influence nursing care.
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Areas that would affect nursing care and changes in nursing care required to give culturally competent care
While carrying out my interview, I noted that several factors linked to cultural diversity influenced nursing care. I identified that local healthcare systems, language, spirituality, values, and family organizations are the major areas that affect nursing care.
Apart from the usual proficient health care structures, each culture has homegrown health care systems. As such, many patients use these homegrown health care systems as a supplement to mainstream medical care. For example, some patients suffering from cancer admit to using acupuncture. They believe that the alternative treatment helps in the management of side effects associated with cancer. Usually, the patients do not feel comfortable letting the nurses know about their use of alternative medications (Eshleman, 2013). In this regard, nurses should find a way of inquiring from the patients whether they are using the alternative medication without intimidating them. During the inquiries, the nurses should cautiously ensure that they are not after disrespecting the client’s choice of medication.
I also noted that language as an element of culture influences nursing care. For example, nurses working in a diverse health care setting face challenges associated with communication barriers. Language barriers or cultural barriers cause these challenges. In such circumstances, nurses find it challenging to interact with some clients owing to their differences in cultural restrictions. The above challenges should be addressed in nursing care to enhance competent care. Cultural competence enhances cross-cultural communication. To improve cross-cultural communication, nurses should speak slowly, reiterate their messages in diverse ways, use simple words, seek the assistance of language translators, use visuals where necessary, and encourage their patients to respond to questions. Based on these illustrations, it is apparent that nurses with cultural competence are best fitted to address the above challenges.
Like language, spirituality can also influence nursing care. For example, several patients frequently refer to religion to find clarifications concerning the causes, nature, and treatment of their illness. Culturally competent nurses ought to be informed of the requirements of all their clients (Long, 2015). Therefore, they should be able to meet their patients’ spiritual needs. In a diverse society, nurses have responsibilities to identify and meet the patients’ religious requirements to enhance all-inclusive care. Usually, religious conviction acts as a source of relaxation and sustenance for several patients. Even though a health worker is not expected to be informed about all religious beliefs, nurses must show admiration to the views of numerous cultures and be informed on where to access information about these beliefs.
Values also influence nursing care. Some patients may refer to their cultural values to find explanations about the causes, nature, and treatment of their illness (Long, 2015). For example, in western societies illnesses are attributed to specific occurrences, which can be explained scientifically. In these societies, medical diagnosis and treatment are seen as ways of addressing illnesses. On the contrary, other societies accept as true that sickness results from paranormal phenomena. In these societies, prayer and other spiritual intercessions are utilized in treatment processes. Based on the above, it is apparent that cultural values play a chief role in patient acquiescence. Culturally competent nurses ought to be informed about their patients’ cultures. Although a health worker is not expected to be informed about all cultural values, he or she must show admiration to the values of numerous cultures for holistic care.
Another element that affects nursing care is family organizations. For example, family units play a significant role in the management and care of patients by determining who should nurse the patients. As such, nurses should not assume that family units are only comprised of mothers, fathers, and children (Long, 2015). A culturally competent nurse should be able to identify roles endorsed to all family members by culture concerning caring for the patients.
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How my cultural competency has changed
After undertaking an interview to identify areas that influence nursing care, I was required to retake a cultural competency quiz to identify how my cultural competency has changed. Based on the results, I noted that the course enabled me to earn the required skills and experience required for one to be considered a culturally competent nurse.
Unlike before the course, I am now capable of applying an understanding of cultural features influencing nursing care across multiple settings. For example, through what I have learned I can validate an understanding of cultural competence in my everyday life and acknowledge diversity in values and beliefs among my patients. I can also explain the relations among cultural, biological, environmental, pharmacological, and hereditary factors (Marrone & Mutha, 2010). Similarly, I can assimilate social and cultural valuation data in the preparation, execution, and evaluation of nursing care.
My practice has also changed over the period because I can now validate pertinent information sources and best evidence in offering nursing care. The changes will enable me to apply pertinent information sources and unsurpassed substantiation in the provision of culturally competent care. For instance, the changes have enabled me to apply suitable values of care and initiate rudimentary quality and care inquiries. I can also offer support in the formulation of quality upgrading strategies and specialist care outcomes. The course has taught me that constructive health results for multicultural populations are attained by the care that is based on cooperative partnerships among members of the healthcare team, patients, and relatives.
What I have learned that can positively affect the nursing care of persons from varied cultures
Throughout the course, I learned a lot of information that can be used to influence the nursing care of persons from diverse cultures. For instance, I noted that as a nurse I should be culturally informed. Through this, I will be able to integrate my cultural values into my nursing practice (Long, 2015). By doing so, I will be able to treat persons from varied cultures with the utmost understanding and integrity.
I also noted that my ability to exploit my knowledge, experience, morals, and attitudes concerning cultural competence could positively influence the nursing care of individuals from varied cultures. For instance, by always enhancing my abilities in cultural competence I can uphold a healthy relationship with my patients. The abilities will also enable me to be their supporter and treat all patients with admiration irrespective of their cultural backgrounds.
In my course, I have learned that our cultural views affect our behavior and expectations. Patients’ cultural views about diagnosis and treatment have a huge impact on how they expect to be treated. By having an understanding of their cultural views, I can transform how nursing care is administered. With the above understanding, I can recognize cultural issues among patients and come up with approaches needed to solve them.
In conclusion, it should be noted that an understanding of cultural competence is very vital. Cultural competence enables nurses to uphold the rights and respect of all patients irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. The healthcare environment is made up of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. Local health care systems, language, spirituality, values, and family organizations are some of the factors linked to the cultural diversity that influence nursing care. Cultural competent nurses ought to be informed about these factors. Although health workers are not expected to be informed about all cultural elements, they must show admiration to the values of numerous cultures for holistic care.
Eshleman, J. (2013). Strategies for Developing Cultural Competency in an RN-BSN Program. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 12(3), 179-183.
Long, C. (2015). Transcultural Nursing Scholars’ Corner: Palliative Care and Transcultural Nursing Meet. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 14(3), 336-336.
Ludwig-Beymer, P. (2014). Health Care Reform and the Transcultural Nurse. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 3(1), 323-324.
Marrone, S., & Mutha, S. (2010). Organizational Cultural Competency. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 5(2). 32-33.