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Leininger’s Theory of Culture Care


Culture care theory derives its principles from the dispositions of Leininger on nursing and cultural orientations. According to Leininger, transcultural nursing precepts involve an analysis of different cultures with a view to understanding cultural practices across various human groups. This comparative approach to studying cultures of human constructs is necessary to understand the differences and similarities between these cultural practices (Leininger & McFarland, 2006). She further outlines the nexus between these practices and the practice of nursing. This work will analyze the tenets of transcultural nursing and its application in clinical nursing practices in depth.

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Assumptions of the theory

The significance of cultural practices of individuals must be considered during the planning of nursing care. Using the “sunrise” and the “universality” model theories, Leininger affirms that the need for a nurse to understand these cultural diversities and similarities is very important in the decision making process when offering care to the patients. Madeleine lists communication as the most basic tool for corroborating transcultural care. Communication must take into account the culture of an individual. Nurses should understand the individual’s cultural identity to enhance the communication with them (Leininger & McFarland, 2006).

Nursing care looks into biophysical, cultural, and psychological facets of an individual. The nursing profession agitates for “wholesome” healing process, not just the physical process; this in essence, involves issues such as social health paradigms. The concept of social health, in terms of interaction and inter-human relations, takes into consideration these cultural differences and similarities. Transcultural care is anchored upon the differences and similarities in cultural constructs of individuals. The theory provides a panoptic means by which nurses would understand nursing care in relation to social health issues (Leininger, 2011).

Applications of the theory: focus on Jackson Health system, RCU

Culture care theory has several implications in the practice of nursing as a profession. Understanding the cultural subscription of the patient is critical in defining the type and extent of nursing care. The implications of the transcultural theory on the practice of nursing is a crucial component of the profession, which cannot be disregarded (Leininger, 2011). In the case of the respiratory care unit at Jackson health system, issues of culture care have invariably had an impact on the daily care and operations directed to the patients admitted in the facility.

The facility receives patients with various cultural backgrounds. A nurse in this facility would thus understand the significance of understanding the different cultural “indentations” to be able to understand these patients effectively. Being a treatment centre that exclusively deals with TB cases, an important approach regarding the cultural beliefs of the disease is required. Scientific factual may back up the notion that TB is the precursor to HIV, but the perception and the stigma that follow the patients have their roots in the cultural understanding of the condition. Knowledge in cultural issues will give the nurse the benefit of explaining to the patients these societal dogmas.

The understanding of the culture of the patients would therefore improve the knowledge of the nurses regarding these dogmas in the society. In the case of Jackson facility, I have had several cases where the patient wrongly interpreted their health condition based on the perceptions of the society. The understanding of the culture care theory however, has enabled me to point out the fallacies of some of the cultural perceptions of health issues and allow the patients to convalesce.

In conclusion, the nursing motif,” there can be no curing without caring, but there can be caring without curing,” affirms the significance of understanding the concept of culture care. It is, therefore, incumbent on the nursing profession to understand this knowledge in the context of nursing care to inject efficiency in the profession (Leininger & McFarland, 2006).

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Leininger, M. M. (2011). Caring, an Essential Human Need: Proceedings of the Three National Caring Conferences. New York, NY: Wayne State University Press. (Original work published 1981).

Leininger, M. M., & McFarland, M. R. (2006). Culture Care Diversity and Universality: A Worldwide Nursing Theory. New Brunswick: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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