Application of the Nursing Process to Deliver Culturally Competent Care: Latinos
Nurses possess adequate dexterities and concepts that can make it easier for them to deliver evidence-based and culturally competent care to their patients. They should take up leadership roles, implement powerful healthcare delivery models, and form cohesive teams to meet the health needs of the targeted clients. The culturally competent care concept has gained popularity within the past three decades. This has been the case because the United States is a nation characterized by the changing demographics in the country. The rate of immigration experienced in the country since the 19th century has led to this kind of demographic shift (Juckett, 2013). One of the major cultural groups in the country is the Latinos (also called Hispanics). Using an evidence-based and peer-reviewed journal article, this discussion explores how nurses can use adequate processes to deliver culturally competent care to the Latino population.
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Selected Professional Article: APA Format
Juckett, G. (2013). Caring for Latino patients. American Family Physician, 87(1), 48-54.
Literature Review and Analysis
The term “Latino” is used to denote individuals from different nationalities such as Puerto Rican, Mexican, Central American, Cuban, and South American (Juckett, 2013). The group also comprises of people from countries or nationalities that are known to embody Spanish culture. The Latinos currently comprise over 16 percent of the United States’ population (Juckett, 2013). Experts believe strongly that the number of Hispanics in the United States will increase significantly within the next two decades. Members of the population have been integrated into both rural and urban communities across the nation. This development has contributed a lot to the country’s diversity.
Juckett (2013) goes further to indicate that the Latino population is still underserved in the country. This happens to be the case because around 23 percent of the Hispanics live below the poverty line in the United States. Past studies have also revealed that many Latinos do not have access to different opportunities (Juckett, 2013). For instance, many Latinos struggle with getting new jobs and opportunities. They also face discrimination in their respective workplace and social functions. This situation shows conclusively that many Latinos in the United States are still struggling to realize their goals.
In healthcare, the Latinos have not been in a position to realize most of their needs. Evidence has indicated that many Latinos from Mexico and other Central American counties have been facing numerous obstacles whenever seeking help with health needs. The presence of language differences, reduced number of Latino caregivers, and inadequate resources are some of the unique challenges affecting the well-being of this population (Sherrill, Mayo, Truong, Pribonic, & Schalkoff, 2016). Cultural mistrust is another obstacle that makes it impossible for many Latinos to seek appropriate medical support in the nation (Sherrill et al., 2016). Emerging immigration issues have been affecting the progression of these individuals. The occurrence of diverse beliefs, cultural values, and religious attributes has widened the gaps in healthcare delivery.
The Latino population has also been identified as one of the cultural groups affected the most by several health conditions. For example, obesity has been observed to affect “over 40 percent of Mexican Americans aged between 20 years and above” (Juckett, 2013, p. 51). Being a member of this cultural group is one of the risk factors for several conditions such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and depression. Many Latinos have been observed to deal with substance abuse, homelessness, and low literacy levels (Juckett, 2013). Their traditional practices and ideas dictate their healthcare practices. Nurses and healthcare professionals should be aware of these cultural attributes to deliver culturally competent care to members of this population.
Best Practices for Delivering Culturally Competent Care to Latinos
As mentioned earlier, nurses and healthcare professionals should use their competencies to support their patients using timely and evidence-based models. The first step that can be embraced by caregivers and nurses is studying the unique folk illnesses and care beliefs associated with members of this population. The Latinos use various healing traditions such as espiritismo, curanderismo, and Santeria (Juckett, 2013). Traditional healers are also widely embraced by many Latino patients. Sorcery-related practices have also been observed among members of this cultural group. The cultural group is also associated with bone setters (or hueseros) and herbalists (also called gerberas). These traditional healers have the potential to deliver desirable health care to many Latino patients.
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This analysis should be taken seriously by healthcare workers who want to meet the changing health needs of their Latino patients. They can go further to include some of these beliefs and traditionalists to support the healing process (Murcia & Lopez, 2016). When this is done, members of the cultural group will be willing to support the care delivery model, involve different family members, and re-pattern their experiences (Juckett, 2013). This will be one of the best steps that can be used to transform the well-being of Latinos.
Studies have indicated that herbal therapies are widely used by many Latinos to promote healing. Some herbs are embraced by members of the cultural group to treat several health conditions. For instance, hot herbs will be used by members of the cultural group to treat several conditions that are believed to be cold (Hendson, Reis, & Nicholas, 2015). Some of the common herbs include borage, golden aster, garlic, cinnamon, and coriander (Juckett, 2013). Whenever providing the most appropriate care to the patients, nurses and physicians should cooperate with them to use alternative medicines and therapies effectively. This practice is necessary because most of these traditional methods might not be embraced by every Latino citizen in the country.
Another powerful practice that can result in culturally competent care revolves around the patient-nurse relationship (Hendson et al., 2015). Whenever providing the required medical care or support, it is appropriate for physicians and nurses to understand the language proficiency of the targeted Latino patient. Literate clients should be provided with appropriate instructions. This should be done using English instead of Spanish. Hospitals can go further to hire translators to ensure every patient is provided with the right medical information. Communication breakdown should be addressed using evidence-based approaches. For example, nurses can guide their patients to embrace various health promotion practices (Sherrill et al., 2016). The method will ensure the patients are involved and willing to be part of the healing process.
Nurses and physicians should design appropriate care delivery models based on the unique needs of the targeted patients. This means that every patient should be empowered and guided to be involved throughout the healthcare delivery process. Appropriate instructions and ideas should be conveyed to the patient continuously (Juckett, 2013). Emerging differences and gaps must be addressed immediately. The care plan can be expanded to create room for different family members, religious leaders, and medical professionals (Sherrill et al., 2016). Individuals in need of critical care should be supported throughout the healthcare delivery process.
Swanson (2012) believes strongly that nurses and medical practitioners should create the best environment to support the healthcare delivery process. The first strategy is to ensure the nursing environment is characterized by bilingual caregivers. The existing members of staff should also be guided and encouraged to learn Spanish. This approach will prepare the workers and make it easier for them to support the health needs of more Latino patients in the country (Sherrill et al., 2016). Hospitals providing care and medical support to patients from the cultural group should “allow extra visit time” (Twomey, 2014, p. 22). The process will ensure more patients have enough time to interact with their family members and caregivers.
Culture-specific practices and interventions will be needed throughout the healthcare delivery process. The nurses should receive adequate training to become competent providers of culturally sensitive care (Swanson, 2012). The training process should focus on specific issues such as eating habits, food materials, herbal therapies, and traditions associated with members of the population. These measures will make it easier for more nurses to deliver desirable, timely, and quality care to more patients.
Nurses and healthcare practitioners should begin by understanding the unique attributes that define the Latino cultural group. The best strategy for developing an appropriate healthcare delivery plan for the population should be informed by its attributes (Murcia & Lopez, 2016). The use of traditional healing methods, continuous training of caregivers, and the creation of the best healthcare environments are some of the best practices that can be used to support the emerging needs of many Latino patients.
Hendson, L., Reis, M., & Nicholas, B. (2015). Health care providers’ perspectives of providing culturally competent care in the NICU. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 44(1), 17-27. Web.
Juckett, G. (2013). Caring for Latino patients. American Family Physician, 87(1), 48-54. Web.
Murcia, S., & Lopez, L. (2016). The experience of nurses in care for culturally diverse families: A qualitative meta-synthesis. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagen, 24(1), 1-11. Web.
Sherrill, W., Mayo, R., Truong, K., Pribonic, A., & Schalkoff, C. (2016). Assessing medical student cultural competence: What really matters. International Journal of Medical Education, 7(1), 248-254. Web.
Swanson, R. (2012).The case for studying cultural competence from the perspective of the Hispanic immigrant patient: A state of the science. Online Journal of Cultural Competence in Nursing and Healthcare, 2(1), 1-9. Web.
Twomey, T. (2014). Pediatricians and pediatric nurses in the delivery of culturally competent care: A scoping literature review to investigate progress and issues around culturally diverse care in pediatrics. Pediatrics and Neonatal Nursing, 1(1), 19-25. Web.