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Professional Communication: Cultural Sensitivity


Nursing has the greatest influence with regards to changing healthcare provision to a better, more quality, and cost-efficient system (The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice, 2008). There has been a recent increase in the numbers and abilities of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), and they have become a greatly esteemed and fundamental section of healthcare. Increased globalization of healthcare coupled with the diversity of population necessitates a focus on cultural competence with the purpose of offering quality care to all (Barker & DeNisco, 2013). Nurses in a diverse setting must have the proficiency to offer culturally suitable care (The APRN Consensus Model, 2008). This study seeks to discuss professional communication amid nurses and shed light on cultural sensitivity amid Blacks in the US. The main objective of the study is to shift the concentration of HIV/AIDS policies targeting Blacks from normally mentioned socioeconomic aspects to less identified socio-cultural concerns. The lack of cultural competence amid caregivers is the greatest reason for the Blacks receiving insufficient care.

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Summary of Article

Blacks are excessively affected by HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS intervention policies are successful for the Whites and not the Blacks thus demonstrating health inequalities (Agbaje-Williams, 2007). Though normally mentioned aspects with respect to the occurrence are socioeconomic, other major factors such as cultural competence, cultural sensitivity, intervention policies, professional communication, and the need for culturally diverse health personnel ought to be addressed. Such aspects are assessed to offer perceptivity into opportunities for restrictive health inequalities. A potential obstacle could be that the caregivers communicate less efficiently with minorities. In particular, cultural dissimilarities and a mistrust of the white caregivers have led to the HIV/AIDS infected African-Americans not profiting from advances in HIV/AIDS programs. The creation of a healthcare system that signifies an even playing ground as a means of getting around the need for cultural competence thus eradicating racial and cultural inequalities in healthcare could solve this problem.

Cultural Differences

The key cultural dissimilarity that should be considered when providing care is communication (Barker & DeNisco, 2013). Professional communication is a crucial element of cultural sensitivity in the provision of healthcare. It could be based on racial group, nationality, cultural aspects, sexuality, socioeconomic position, or impairment. Nurses, nurse leaders, and other caregivers ought to have professional, cultural, and interpersonal communication proficiencies as well to communicate successfully and offer culturally proper, quality, and safe care to every patient. Communication represents a cultural occurrence that influences healthcare amid cultural groupings (The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice, 2008). All encounters in a health institution offer a chance to create a positive impact on the health of the patients and caregivers can capitalize on such ability through cultural competence and effective handling of a diverse population.

Application to Practice

For cultural sensitivity, communication could entail concerns of gender, sexuality, race, socioeconomic position, religion, career, preferences, impairment, and age. Nurses and other caregivers ought to be sensitive to the special requirements of the patients they serve (McEwen & Wills, 2014). Language, in addition to cultural, hindrances ought to be evaluated and tackled as part of nursing interventions (Barker & DeNisco, 2013). Professional communication with patients irrespective of their being Blacks or Whites could be greatly beneficial in comprehending cultural approaches and having language services.

Suitable actions for eliminating communication hindrances will rely on the conditions of the individual practice and the diversity of the patients (The APRN Consensus Model, 2008). Sponsoring medical fairs and communication sessions in the surrounding cultural region could create positive dealings with nurses and other caregivers while also being informative and comforting the people that could have experienced negative effects while seeking medical care by assuring them of doing everything possible to rectify the situation. Reaching out to some affected parts of the community, for instance, areas where the Blacks live, communicating with them, and giving preventative, remedial talks could be valuable both for the group and the profession. Finally, since patients interrelate with different people in a health institution, it is vital to educate every staff concerning cultural sensitivity.


The globalization of healthcare, in addition to the diversity of population, demands a focus on cultural competence and sensitivity to facilitate the provision of quality care to all. Nurses in a diverse setting must have the proficiency to offer culturally sensitive care. A potential impediment could be in the caregivers communicating less efficiently with minorities, such as African-Americans, which leads to poor provision of care. Proper actions for eradicating communication impediments will rely on the forms of the individual practice and the diversity of the patients. Since patients associate with different employees in a health institution, it is essential to educate each staff regarding cultural sensitivity.


Role of the Advanced Professional Nurse

An ethical practice environment in healthcare can be enhanced and the care of patients advanced if the Advanced Professional Nurses (APNs), and particularly Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (ACNPs), can bridge the gap between cultural aspects, beliefs, and practices that build up the patients’ value structures. Because nurses signify the biggest group in the medical staff, ACNPs are in a good position to champion holistic healthcare that identifies an individual’s inclinations, values, and requirements, and esteems the patients as full partners in offering considerate and culturally suitable, quality, and successful healthcare. In ensuring an ethical practice environment in healthcare, ACNPs and other caregivers ought to facilitate suitable professional communication encompassing successful communication amid patients for the provision of safe and quality care (Barker & DeNisco, 2013).

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ACNPs have to tackle cultural and personal differences when talking to patients. Most significantly, APNs have to be ready to build up a therapeutic affiliation with people that are culturally dissimilar and acknowledge that dissimilarities in communication approaches could influence the therapeutic affiliation (Barker & DeNisco, 2013). Apart from developing a therapeutic affiliation with culturally dissimilar people, ACNPs are anticipated to push for culturally suitable, patient-centered, and evidence-based objectives and treatment strategies with patients. ACNPs have to comprehend the effects of culture on nurse-patient communication and mull over the patients’ cultural and language requirements when providing care to patients or establishing a program of care.

Aspects of Professional Communication

Professional communication and sensitivity to the responses of patients and likely behavioral dissimilarities will alert nurses and other caregivers to pose suitable inquiries and take proper actions (McEwen & Wills, 2014). For instance, employing open-ended inquiries and giving attention to the patients is vital (Barker & DeNisco, 2013). For patients that do not speak English, or the ones whose communication is not fluent, clear, or accurate, efforts ought to be undertaken to offer support, for instance, the provision of suitably trained interpreters as well as educational materials for the patients (The APRN Consensus Model, 2008). With respect to language differences due to ethical or cultural diversities, different alternatives are available and encompass employing bilingual personnel for clerical or health posts, with the use of suitable society resources, utilizing translation phone services, and using printed translations of forms to mention a few.


Agbaje-Williams, M. M. (2007). Eliminating Health Disparities: A Literature Review on the HIV/AIDS Epidemic. Western Journal of Black Studies, 31(2), 22-25.

Barker, A. M., & DeNisco, S. M. (2013). Advanced practice nursing: Evolving roles for the transformation of the profession (2nd ed.). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.

McEwen, M., & Wills, E. (2014). Theoretical basis for nursing (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

The APRN Consensus Model. (2008). Web.

The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice. (2008). Web.

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