The USA is a country that is currently a home for people of different nations. They have their own unique view, values, and beliefs. It is critical to provide patient-centered care for nursing professionals who are patient advocates. In this framework, they are also expected to reveal their cultural competence, which gives an opportunity to adjust care according to the consumers’ needs. Taking into account one’s worldviews, communication styles, and expectations, nurses receive a chance to reduce personal biases, streamline the process of diagnosis, and improve health outcomes. This paper will reveal the way culturally competent nursing care can be delivered. In its framework, the health care needs of a particular cultural group (Muslims) will be described.
The USA is generally known as a melting pot that gathers the representatives of various countries and becomes their home. It is constantly accepting more and more new citizens who come to work or study. They represent their native cultures, different from the American one. Because of such discrepancy, interaction with these individuals may become a problem. It is critical to realize that various nations have their own unique way of perceiving the world and utilize this knowledge to communicate with them efficiently.
The representatives of the general public can benefit from such an approach but even more critical, and useful advantages can be obtained by the providers of healthcare services and their patients. A lot of cases are known today when nurses or doctors faced troubles with diagnosis and treatment because of the misunderstandings. Thus, professionals developed standards of nursing care, identifying the necessity of cultural skill development. They concluded that only a culturally competent nurse can be able to provide efficient patient-centered care, which is highly valued today.
Healthcare professionals, especially those who provide nursing care, operate in the role of patient advocates. Thus, it is significant for them to show respect for others and effectively utilize knowledge about other cultures. As societies become more mobile and the value of cultural competence increases. Diversity in the healthcare system deals not only with patients but also with the staff members.
It is critical to realize that different people can treat one and the same kind of treatment as the best option and as a strange and meaningless approach. Knowing cultural peculiarities or at least being aware of their existence, professionals can make the nursing process more efficient and increase the number of positive health outcomes. For example, they can improve the admission assessment by omitting personal biases.
Sensor (2006) discussed the case when a Muslim male was asked about unusual dietary and religious practices. The man gave a negative answer which leads to further misunderstanding because his ordinary practices turned out to be unusual on the behalf of the nurses. As a result, a spiritual leader was charged as a “non-believer” and his children were not able to visit him because he was shaved.
The purpose of this paper is to reveal the way, in which culturally competent nursing care can be delivered to the patients. Except for that, the health care needs of a particular cultural group (Muslims) are going to be described.
The paper is based on qualitative research conducted on the basis of the literature review. It includes four sources that describe the importance of culturally competent care. Their analysis provides an opportunity to develop the implication for nursing practice.
Review of Literature
Nurses are expected to take care of every patient as a unique person. To do so, they should provide patient-centered care, which includes paying much attention to one’s values, beliefs, and practices. Such an approach requires the successful utilization of cultural skills that are a part of cultural competence. It also involves awareness, knowledge, encounters, and desire (College of Registered nurses of Nova Scotia, 2015) Still, Campinha-Bacote (2011) emphasizes the significance of the skills, displaying them as the nurse’s ability to gather appropriate cultural information about the consumer. In this framework, professionals should ask open-ended questions about etiology, symptoms, illness, and treatment.
They are expected to listen to the patient carefully, explain the situation from their point of view, define similar and different points, provide optimal recommendations, and negotiate a treatment plan.
When interacting with a patient, nurses should be non-judgmental, which can affect not only improve relationships with a consumer but also have a positive influence on the health outcomes due to the streamlined process of diagnosis. They need to realize the peculiarities of the cultural conflict, paying attention to biases, discrimination, peculiarities of values, and beliefs.
In order to reveal cultural competence, healthcare professionals who provide nursing care should promote respect. When having not enough information about a patient or one’s beliefs, they need to ask questions to receive a decent explanation instead of making assumptions. In this way, the influence of personal bias will be reduced greatly. It is critical to establish good relationships with the relatives of a consumer and understand the way they interact to see how this cultural group differs. Nurses can allow a client to take some important objects or maintain some practice. Professionals should also be ready to provide an interpreter when one is needed (Sensor, 2006).
The implication for Nursing Practice
Nurses should do their best to meet the health care needs of various cultural groups. This paper focuses on the needs of Muslims, as they represent one of the most numerous cultural groups in the USA. These people are very religious, and it is critical for healthcare professionals to take into consideration this fact. They are not obliged to support the Islamic faith or follow their practices, but it is significant to know them and realize their value for the patients.
Rassool (2014) recommends professionals to pay attention not only to the religious peculiarities but also to the ethical dimension in caring. For example, they believe that abortion is possible only if the mother’s life is in danger while life-saving measures can be maintained if the treatment does not cause additional suffering. Nurses should accept the fact that the decision-making process is based on the values of Islam and follow the patient’s desires.
The professional states that the Muslim family system differs from the American one that is why relationships between the family members should also be considered. For example, nurses may believe the age of a married couple to be not appropriate, as it is not defined.
Moreover, nurses should take into account the way Muslims order their routine during fasting and pilgrimage. Health considerations are likely to differ during this time. For example, Muslims do not ignore fasting while nurses and doctors may consider such a decision to be a mistake, as it may have an adverse influence on the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.
Professionals should show that they are personally interested and involved when interacting with the patient. When assessing one’s conditions they should paraphrase special questions so that they turn into a conversation. In this way, a patient can be asked “Tell me about your bruises” instead of “How did you get these injuries”? Muslims often seem to be rather detached because they value modesty and privacy. Such questions provide an opportunity not to cross the boundary between the nurse and the patient but tend to make the client feel relaxed and calm. Being treated in this way, Muslim patients are likely to support the creation of trust-based relations with nursing professionals.
Thus, it can be concluded that when delivering patient-centered care, nurses should also take into consideration a cultural conflict. It is critical for them to be culturally competent and to utilize relevant skills to improve the nurse-patient interaction. When nurses are able to accept and adjust to various worldviews, communication styles, and expectations, they can reduce the impact produced by personal biases, streamline the process of diagnosis, and enhance chances of achieving positive health outcomes.
When working with Muslim patients, healthcare professionals should remember that their decision-making depends greatly on Islamic faith and beliefs. Nurses should be aware of the cultural values such patients have and the practices they maintain. When having no such information, professionals should ask open-ended questions and omit to guess. All in all, nurses should pay much attention to the need for modesty and privacy that are emphasized by Muslims. They should make sure that the interaction with the patient, one’s dietary needs, and related to healthcare opinions are taken into account.
Campinha-Bacote, J. (2011). Delivering patient-centered care in the midst of a cultural conflict: the role of cultural competence. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 16(2), Manuscript 5.
College of Registered nurses of Nova Scotia. (2015). Position statement: Promoting culturally competent care. Web.
Rassool, G. Cultural competence in nursing Muslim patients. Nursing Times, 111(14), 12-15.
Sensor, C. (2006). Culturally competent care in the workplace. Web.