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Role of Effective Communication in Enhancing Nurses’ Cultural Competence

Evidence For Cultural Competence Among Healthcare Professionals

Several educational initiatives and training courses have been designed to enhance the competencies required for recognizing and addressing sociocultural challenges in the clinical context (Gradellini et al., 2021). Most educational and training programs for cultural sensitivity focus on developing specific skills in healthcare professionals.

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Such training must be provided during a practitioner’s career to help them develop and maintain their cultural sensitivity and communication skills.

They include; cross-cultural competencies, recognition of one’s ethnic standpoint, perspectives toward cultural diversity, and understanding of other cultural behaviors and belief systems (Gradellini et al., 2021). According to Kaihlanen et al. (2019), it is crucial to offer conventional cultural sensitivity learning and context-specific instruction for effective outcomes. As such, individual and organizational contexts are crucial when creating, incorporating, and assessing development programs for medical practitioners.

Effective Communication in Nursing

Effective communication between patients and clinicians is well established as a prerequisite for providing high-quality treatment. Thus, nursing can be challenging when patients’ sociocultural disparities are not fully embraced, acknowledged, investigated, or addressed.

Concerns regarding cross-cultural communication may have an effect on an individual’s degree of participation in healthcare delivery.

Evidence has shown that many ethnically varied patients frequently create communication issues for medical providers when dissatisfied with the quality of care (Gerchow et al., 2021).

Lack of cultural awareness and confusion reduce the effectiveness of communication and may result in considerable reliance on stereotypes. In this regard, cultural ignorance increases the risk of unfavorable perceptions developing during cross-cultural care.

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It may also impact healthcare professionals’ psychological readiness to care for ethnically varied patients.

By contrast, increasing understanding of the sociocultural aspects of sickness can help medical professionals overcome communication barriers in nursing. Likewise, reflection on one’s strengths and shortcomings while interacting with diverse groups is viewed as critical for overcoming various communication challenges (Kaihlanen et al., 2019).

Relevance of Cultural Knowledge In Healthcare Communication

When a patient realizes how culturally competent the nurse is, he/she tends to follow the advice given due to the experience. For example, if a psychiatrist is culturally competent, patients feel free to discuss their feelings and open up to more emotional topics.

Trust is also built during the process due to the active dialogues and question and answering sessions between nurses and patients.

Nurses’ use of medical jargon, which may be unfamiliar to patients, will frustrate the patient that cultural knowledge is necessary to ensure patient satisfaction.

Another aspect of cultural knowledge is understanding religious beliefs, which is a critical component of cultural competence.

All these eliminate unnecessary errors, as in the case of patients lacking English language proficiency who often face many difficulties during the admission process or even care delivery (Gerchow et al., 2021). Ultimately, since communication is bettered, precise medical information by patients is collected, which enhances the possibility of good health outcomes.

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Promoting Cultural Competency Though Foreign Language Learning

When nurses can communicate in multiple languages, they can get along with patients from different backgrounds. In this way, they can eliminate stereotypes associated with specific communities, such as the misconception that Islam promotes violence against non-members.

Stereotypes are harmful in the nursing workplace since they may lead to conflict and demoralization, as well as reduced performance and other undesirable outcomes.

In the long run, the deeper understanding gained consequentially helps widen the view of the mind, which in turn increases nurses’ tolerance.

Training Model For Foreign Language Learning

Longer sessions may not be appropriate because participants may become fatigued and lose concentration. Storytelling is ideal because of its usefulness in encouraging the acceptance of multiple perspectives and understanding of unfamiliar conceptual scenarios, practices, and beliefs through the use of actual encounters.

In this model, the instructor, who is generally an expert educator from an intercultural organization, uses real-world events, tales, and images to highlight various cultural aspects.

The instructor may use storytelling to highlight instances when communication gaps led in unanticipated miscommunication.

Focus group consultation and learning tasks should be included in every lesson. These may involve inferring personal elements underlying one’s ethnic qualities to become more sensitive to cultural differences.

This method will assist nurses in understanding why community-specific knowledge should not be used in care delivery. Additionally, the instructor may provide images demonstrating how individuals from completely different cultures see the same picture in unique ways.

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Several ideologies can be put into practice when developing culturally competent nursing practice. Awareness of diversity is the starting point that will ensure cultural knowledge is achieved in healthcare settings.

However, there is limited research regarding the efficiency of cultural competence coaching on consequences related to patient care.

Fortunately, there is proof regarding cultural competency training models’ beneficial impacts on clinicians’ perceptions, expertise, and behavior regarding cross-cultural treatment.

Further research is necessary to establish which training approaches are the most successful and practicable. Such research should aim to determine which model fits particular situations and populations and what resources are needed to achieve the desired objective.


Gerchow, L., Burka, L. R., Miner, S., & Squires, A. (2021). Language barriers between nurses and patients: a scoping review. Patient Education and Counseling, 104(3), 534-553. Web.

Gradellini, C., Gómez-Cantarino, S., Dominguez-Isabel, P., Molina-Gallego, B., Mecugni, D., & Ugarte-Gurrutxaga, M. I. (2021). Cultural Competence and Cultural Sensitivity Education in University Nursing Courses. A Scoping Review. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. 682920. Web.

Kaihlanen, A. M., Hietapakka, L., & Heponiemi, T. (2019). Increasing cultural awareness: a qualitative study of nurses’ perceptions about cultural competence training. BMC nursing, 18(1), 1-9. Web.

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