Delivering Culturally Competent Nursing Care


The quality of nursing care depends not only on the professional training of junior medical personnel but also on the extent to which these specialists observe cultural norms in the process of work. Further, the specifics of rendering assistance to people with mental disabilities will be examined from the point of view of the cultural aspect and the peculiarities of its successful application in practice. The paper includes quotations from reputable authors and touches on the issues of nursing practice in neuropsychiatric departments. The methods of providing assistance to patients by the personnel and the management of clinics are considered.

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Care for people with mental disorders requires the nursing staff to not only be highly qualified but also to observe a number of moral principles. Due to the fact that the patients of this group, as a rule, cannot entirely provide themselves with full-fledged care, it is significant that the junior medical personnel responsibly approach the performance of their immediate duties (Ailey, Johnson, Fogg, & Friese, 2015).

At the same time, it is essential that employees of medical centers have high motivation to ensure that their activities correspond to the modern standards of nursing care quality. In order to ensure that assistance to patients with disabilities is effective, it is important that nurses have a sufficient level of cultural competence. Otherwise, complaints will be received by the leadership about the incompetent performance of official duties (Jeffreys, 2015). Therefore, one of the significant components of the entire nursing process in caring for patients with mental disorders is the observance of cultural aspects in work and the consideration of each ward’s individual characteristics.

Main Features of Care for Patients with Mental Disorders

The specifics of caring for patients with mental disorders are distinctive since such wards require increased attention and the consideration of individual problems. Thus, for example, people who are under severe stress and patients in a depressed state require different nursing approaches (Jeffreys, 2015). Therefore, in the process of work, it is important to not only professionally perform duties but also take into account patients’ personal characteristics.

One of the main dangers that mental disorders carry is complications. As a rationale, the article by Ailey et al. (2015) will be used, which presents the factors that influence the occurrence of complications in patients with mental problems as well as the actions of nurses in specific situations. The authors note an urgent need for comprehensive care for a small but extremely important group of patients who experience mental health problems (Ailey et al., 2015). Such people require a special approach that implies not only the professionalism of the nursing staff but also compassion as well as increased attention on the part of medical personnel.

Healthcare Needs of Patients with Mental Disorders

Regardless of the clinic’s level and the qualifications of the nursing staff working in it, certain problems can periodically arise when caring for people with mental disorders. According to Douglas et al. (2014), it particularly concerns those patients who have different cultural backgrounds and experience additional difficulties in communicating with medical staff. In this connection, it is required to consider several essential needs that sooner or later arise in people with mental disabilities. It helps to identify key areas of nursing activity for this target group and to find the best approaches for eliminating existing problems.

Difficulties in Communicating with the Hospital Staff

One of the challenges often encountered by patients of neuropsychiatric departments is the difficulty in communicating with medical personnel. As Ailey et al. (2015) claim, people with such disorders are not always able to intelligently explain what bothers them, which further complicates the task of nurses. Moreover, if medical professionals do not have sufficient skills to work with such patients, they can harm sick people, misinterpreting their words or not giving them enough attention. An important role in this process is also played by the cultural competence of junior medical personnel.

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If employees are interested in providing patients with all the necessary amenities and timely follow the orders of physicians regarding the treatment process, difficulties are unlikely to arise. However, if communication is not well established and misunderstanding is constantly present, it will further complicate the task of doctors and prolong the treatment period (Shen, 2015). Therefore, the task of clinics’ management should include control over the degree of personnel involved in the interaction with patients and the level of their communication.

Also, difficulties can arise from an ethical point of view. The task of nursing, as Jeffreys (2015) remarks, is to unconditionally help patients regardless of external factors. It means that different social, cultural, and other backgrounds in no way should affect the attitude of the medical worker to a particular ward. However, some difficulties may arise, which is usually caused by insufficient staff competence in matters of nursing ethics.

According to Douglas et al. (2014), cultural security is one of the aspects of care and is “health care that recognizes and respects the cultural characteristics of the patient, the patient’s family, the environment, and the patient’s community” (p. 116). Therefore, adherence to ethical standards of behavior can help to establish trustful contact among nurses and those who need care and ensure a quality care order that is not based on any prejudices.

Insufficient Professional Staff Training

Insufficient training of nurses working with patients with mental disorders is another potential difficulty that clinic managers may face. As Ailey et al. (2015) note, graduates of medical institutions should necessarily be prepared to work with the wards of this profile. Otherwise, according to the authors, operational problems can continuously occur, for example, with the fixation of all the peculiarities of a particular disease (Ailey et al., 2015).

In order to avoid these challenges, the management of clinics needs to take additional measures to ensure that the staff effectively performs its immediate duties. At the same time, continuous monitoring of skills can be carried out by conducting tests on the knowledge of specific working nuances. These measures are unlikely to be approved by employees, particularly those who are light-minded about their work and are not ready to change their lifestyle under new circumstances. Nevertheless, such efforts can be useful for patients who need quality care. Therefore, the intervention of the leadership can help subordinates to hone necessary skills and competently perform work without disturbing wards, which corresponds to the cultural appearance of the nurse.

Additional Methods of Providing Qualified Nursing

In addition to the mentioned features of care that require patients with mental disorders, supplementary measures can be taken to provide qualified nursing care. Management must constantly monitor the availability of appropriate equipment necessary to conduct all required procedures. As Jeffreys (2015) claims, the quality of additional resources determines the rate of patients’ recovery, and the shortage of facilities, on the contrary, complicates and slows the process of treatment. Therefore, control of the equipment of neuropsychiatric departments is an integral component of competent management work.

Also, special attention should be paid to the moral support of patients. According to Ailey et al. (2015), it is not enough to have theoretical knowledge of the principles of nursing ethics; it is essential to apply them in practice to patients and their relatives. There are many different theories of care where the emphasis is on taking into account the behavioral motives of people and assisting them in adapting to new conditions in the treatment regimen. Following these concepts will certainly help patients to feel the attention of the staff and thereby quickly recover.

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Thus, one of the essential aspects of the entire nursing process in caring for patients with mental disabilities is the observance of ethical and cultural norms at work and the consideration of each sick person’s individual characteristics. The problems that can arise in the course of such practice are difficulties in communication among nurses and patients as well as insufficiently high professional training of junior medical personnel. Also, equipping neuropsychiatric departments with appropriate equipment plays a significant role in the recovery process. The management of clinics should constantly monitor the work of employees and timely intervene if any deficiencies are traced, and the quality of care leaves much to be desired. The activities of the staff work should provide moral support to patients and their relatives. It can be achieved by following different theories and concepts aimed at normalizing wards’ behavior and encouraging their success.


Ailey, S. H., Johnson, T. J., Fogg, L., & Friese, T. R. (2015). Factors related to complications among adult patients with intellectual disabilities hospitalized at an academic medical center. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 53(2), 114-119.

Douglas, M. K., Rosenkoetter, M., Pacquiao, D. F., Callister, L. C., Hattar-Pollara, M., Lauderdale, J.,… Purnell, L. (2014). Guidelines for implementing culturally competent nursing care. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 25(2), 109-121.

Jeffreys, M. R. (2015). Teaching cultural competence in nursing and health care: Inquiry, action, and innovation (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

Shen, Z. (2015). Cultural competence models and cultural competence assessment instruments in nursing: A literature review. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(3), 308-321.

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StudyCorgi. "Delivering Culturally Competent Nursing Care." July 8, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Delivering Culturally Competent Nursing Care." July 8, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Delivering Culturally Competent Nursing Care'. 8 July.

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