Hispanics make one of the fastest-growing demographics in the United States. Most of the Hispanic population that is found in the United States comes from Mexico, but a significant portion also comes from other South and Central American countries. The presence of Hispanic clients has necessitated healthcare professionals to make considerations about the Hispanic culture whenever they are delivering services to their patients (Grady, 2014). For instance, past research indicates that “healthcare professionals report apprehension and fear of doing the wrong thing or delivering unsafe care because of language barriers and lack of understanding when it comes to cultural differences and healthcare practices” (Sobel & Sawin, 2014). A nurse’s cultural competence is of importance when it comes to delivering healthcare to culturally diverse clients. Furthermore, past studies reveal that Hispanics expect a certain kind of treatment during their one-on-one interaction with the nursing staff. This paper seeks to collect information that might be relevant to nurses when they are caring for Hispanic families and patients in clinical settings.
The background of this study is mostly informed by the fact that most nurses have reported cases of apprehension when delivering clinical care to Hispanic clients. Most of this apprehension comes from the fact that most Hispanics experience the problem of language barriers. In addition, there have been cases of clients who reside in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods expecting their caregivers to communicate with them in their mother tongue. Nurses also experience cultural misunderstandings when they are dealing with Hispanic clients. The Hispanic culture is distinct from the predominant American culture, and it also carries with it minority elements. Therefore, there is a need for research that can establish culturally aware nursing practices in regards to the Hispanic population.
Purpose of Research
The main aim of this research is “to explore nursing care actions that lead to culturally competent care for Hispanic patients” (Sobel & Sawin, 2014, p. 1). Therefore, the research explores the best practices when it comes to delivering nursing services to Hispanic clients. Furthermore, the study uses various strands of Hispanic culture to provide useful information to potential healthcare providers. The two main research questions in this study concentrate on the cultural knowhow that nurses should possess when they are interacting with Hispanic cultures and the actions that these healthcare providers should adopt in their provision of culturally competent care.
The grounded theory was the basis for this research method. This method provided a qualitative basis for assessing culturally competent nursing. The research design included asking participants relevant questions. The setting of the research study was in a rural town in the South East United States, where the Hispanic population was on the rise. The sample for the study included 26 Hispanic patients whose origins ranged from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, and Colombia. A sizeable portion of the sample consisted of lay health promoters, who had firsthand experience with healthcare services. The researchers chose to utilize the focus group interview mode. A wide range of questions was asked concerning the cultural factors and the health routines of the sampled respondents. Some of these questions touched on the nurse-patient interactions, language barriers, overall experiences, cultures, and opinions, among other things.
Data for the research was collected from six focus groups that converged for periods of between one and two hours. All the questions that were asked during the focus group meetings were pre-tested through pilot projects that were conducted on lay health promoters. Interpreter services were also part of the research in a bid to preserve the cultural authenticity of data. The data collection process occurred over a period of six months, and its authenticity was ensured through several consistency checks. The analysis of the data was conducted using a software program (Jeffreys, 2010). The qualitative research also provided data that could be applied to the grounded theory.
Review of Literature
Data from this research outlines a theoretical model that indicates interrelatedness between three distinct themes. All three themes formulate the groundwork for the provision of “informed culturally competent nursing care for Hispanic patients and families” (Sobel & Sawin, 2014, p. 3). The concept of connectedness refers to the importance of the interaction between a nurse and a client. On the other hand, the study reveals that the underlying themes that influence connectedness are “Up to You” and “At the Mercy of the System”. These two themes have the ability to influence connectedness either positively or negatively.
The “Up to You” theme refers to individuals’ own perception of healthcare provision. Therefore, this concept is concerned with the manner in which Hispanics generally care for their own health and that of their family members when they suffer from either mild or chronic conditions. This theme is also the first modality of connectedness between an individual’s intentions and his/her healthcare approach. In addition, the “Up to You” theme provides insight into an individual’s health culture before he/she comes into contact with a formal health system. Most of the sampled Hispanics provided an array of responses in regards to the theme of “Up to You”.
For instance, some participants did not have any reservations about over-the-counter medications, while others opted for home remedies. The other theme in this study is “At the Mercy of the System”, and it refers to the difficulties that Hispanics encounter in the course of their interactions with the American healthcare system. This theme covers the things that Hispanics encounter in the course of healthcare provision, but they are beyond their control. Examples of these things include language barriers, discrimination, and an unfamiliar healthcare system. Connectedness is the overall theme in the research and it involves nurses harnessing the power of language, being culturally aware, and utilizing the universal language of kindness.
Implication for Nursing Practice
The study provides nurses with a clear direction when it comes to delivering culturally competent care. The study also highlights the need for “patient-centered nursing care with an emphasis on the patient as an individual, and supporting the importance of a culturally well-informed nurse” (Sobel & Sawin, 2014). Eventually, these efforts nurture an environment of collaboration between nurses and patients. Some of the recommended actions for nurses include learning some Spanish, addressing patients by their names, use an interpreter when necessary, and including a patient’s family in the treatment process. These adjustments are a significant step towards culturally competent care.
This research study takes an interesting approach in regards to culturally competent care. The study explores ways to enhance the connection from both the patient and the nurses. Therefore, the research investigates the cultural preconceptions of both nurses and patients (Lusk & Fater, 2013). Delivering culturally competent care begins with understanding the needs of individual patients. For instance, the study reveals how Hispanics regard their own health and that of their family members. This personal information is combined with the challenges that Hispanics encounter in the American Healthcare system to offer nurses useful insight into culturally competent care.
Grady, A. M. (2014). Enhancing cultural competency in home care nurses caring for Hispanic/Latino patients. Home Healthcare Now, 32(1), 24-30.
Jeffreys, M. R. (2010). Teaching cultural competence in nursing and health care. New York, NY: Springer.
Lusk, J. M., & Fater, K. (2013). A concept analysis of patient-centered care. Nursing Forum, 48(1), 90-98.
Sobel, L. L., & Sawin, E. M. (2014). Guiding the process of culturally competent care with Hispanic patients a grounded theory study. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 27(3), 226-232.