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Culturally Competent Care in Nursing

In order to determine the modern characteristics of culturally competent care and the principles used in nursing practice for patients with different backgrounds, the experience of various authors may be useful. As one of the examples, the study by Johnstone, Hutchinson, Redley, and Rawson (2016) called “Nursing Roles and Strategies in End-of-Life Decision Making Concerning Elderly Immigrants Admitted to Acute Care Hospitals: An Australian Study” will be considered. The authors research different strategies for nursing assistance to elderly migrants in Australia and resort to the technique of qualitative analysis, conducting interviews among both health professionals and patients (Johnstone et al., 2016). A culturally responsive approach allows achieving positive treatment outcomes and gives an opportunity to concentrate on the individual characteristics of those who experience difficulties caused by language, social, and other barriers.

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Nursing Issue Description

The purpose of culturally competent care is to provide all, without exception, patients with equally high-quality medical services regardless of any factors, including cultural, social, racial, and other criteria. Considering the aforementioned article as a basis, it can be noted that the authors focus on the elderly migrant population because they consider this category to be one of the most vulnerable and subject to bias (Johnstone et al., 2016). As a research method, qualitative analysis is used as the way of assessing information from the immediate stakeholders of the care process.

In order for the delivery of culturally competent nursing assistance to be up-to-date, it is essential to ensure such a working regime that could allow all existing approaches to care for all the categories of the population, including migrants. Visitors, as a rule, experience various difficulties, for instance, a language barrier can become a serious obstacle on the way to receiving qualified nursing help. Nevertheless, this factor is an internal challenge, while there are different external manifestations of an unacceptable attitude – racial intolerance, the denial of assistance based on religious differences, and other violations. In order to avoid them, it is significant for the nursing staff to understand the essence of the mission entrusted to them and to be able to perform their duties professionally, regardless of any personal beliefs. In this case, the quality of care will be high, and no complaints from visitors will arise.

Literature Review

In addition to the article under consideration, other academic works also address the issue of culturally competent care for migrants. Furthermore, some of them testify to unacceptable approaches in relation to this category of patients. For example, Fellin, Desmarais, and Lindsay (2015) argue that medical employees may “create barriers for immigrant families in different ways, which affect their ability to provide culturally competent care” (p. 1961). This fact is unacceptable in modern conditions, therefore, relevant measures on the part of the management of healthcare facilities should be taken.

Another research is devoted to the study of the characteristics of care for Hispanic patients who are immigrants. Sobel and Metzler Sawin (2016) consider possible approaches to the work of nurses in relation to this group of patients and provide theories that may be effective in compiling a professional treatment plan. According to the authors, “connectedness is central to culturally well-informed nurse-patient interactions,” which means that constant contact of clinic staff with those who need help is one of the primary conditions of successful work (Sobel & Metzler Sawin, 2016, p. 226).

Maleku and Aguirre (2014) emphasize the importance of working with migrants and note this activity as an obligatory part of the current healthcare policy. According to the authors, “the status of immigrants has broader implications for national and state efforts to improve access to health care as the increasing immigrant population is also likely to increase pressure on the existing system” (Maleku & Aguirre, 2014, p. 561). Moreover, not only legal but also ethical aspects should be taken into account since the quality of nursing care should not depend on any personal prejudices. Thus, all aforementioned authors agree that culturally competent care for migrants is an essential issue in modern medicine and deserves attention at the state level.

Implications for Nursing Practice

In case violations in the care of migrants are regular, it can have severe consequences for nursing practice. Firstly, complaints from unsatisfied patients may entail fines, and the management of a particular healthcare institution will have to be accountable to the law. Secondly, the very notion of medical aid will cease to correspond to the nursing code of ethics since the principles of medical assistance do not allow any personal beliefs regarding the care of patients.

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If the right conclusions are drawn from the existing experience, implications for nursing practice may be positive. Migrants in need of care will be able to receive comprehensive access to the services of nurses, which is the natural condition of the healthcare system. Also, a number of contradictory nuances can be resolved. In today’s world where the problems of cultural differences play an essential role, it is necessary to adhere to the principles of equality, which is particularly important for the healthcare sector. Nursing practice will meet all quality standards set by government policies if qualified care is provided to all patients regardless of their origin. According to Maleku and Aguirre (2014), “the immigrant population has to learn to trust the American medical system, but that trust must be earned” (p. 575). Therefore, it is significant to monitor the work of junior medical personnel in order to avoid the emergence of obstacles for visitors in the way of receiving medical care.


Culturally competent care is an indispensable condition for modern nursing practice since it allows achieving positive patient outcomes and providing all necessary assistance to migrants as the object of this research. Despite potential challenges that can arise in the process of interaction among medical employees and visitors, no prejudices should affect the quality of work performed. In case of the violations of ethical standards, severe consequences for healthcare facilities may arise. Adherence to the principles of culturally competent care, on the contrary, raises the level of nursing assistance and testifies to the high professional training of specialists.


Fellin, M., Desmarais, C., & Lindsay, S. (2015). An examination of clinicians’ experiences of collaborative culturally competent service delivery to immigrant families raising a child with a physical disability. Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(21), 1961-1969. Web.

Johnstone, M. J., Hutchinson, A. M., Redley, B., & Rawson, H. (2016). Nursing roles and strategies in end-of-life decision making concerning elderly immigrants admitted to acute care hospitals: An Australian study. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 27(5), 471-479. Web.

Maleku, A., & Aguirre, R. T. (2014). Culturally competent health care from the immigrant lens: A qualitative interpretive meta-synthesis (QIMS). Social Work in Public Health, 29(6), 561-580. Web.

Sobel, L. L., & Metzler Sawin, E. (2016). Guiding the process of culturally competent care with Hispanic patients: A grounded theory study. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 27(3), 226-232. Web.

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