Cultural (intercultural) competence in nursing is the ability of the nurse to interact with people from different cultures effectively. Cultural competence has four components: understanding one’s cultural worldview, attitude towards cultural differences, knowledge of various cultural methods and worldviews, and intercultural skills.
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The culture-based perception of the disease affects the patient’s lifestyle, attitude to treatment, the relationship between the patient and the nurse, and treatment outcome. Positive changes in the demographic situation and the multinational composition of the population give rise to particular concerns about cultural issues in nursing (Sharifi et al., 2019). Many European countries and the USA are becoming more and more multinational, and nurses are increasingly accepting patients from different socio-cultural backgrounds. Increased diversity of the modern world raises the need for developing an effective way for communication in various fields, including nursing. The patient and family-centered care approach is an effective way to develop mutually beneficial practice between healthcare providers, patients, and families. Effective nurse-patient interaction is associated with increased patient satisfaction, adherence to recommendations, and outcomes, i.e., improving health. When socio-cultural differences between patient and nurse are not studied and brought to practice, this can lead to patient dissatisfaction, non-compliance with recommendations, and poor health consequences. Hence, patient and family-centered care must include cultural competency.
Culture plays a large role in shaping health values, beliefs, and behaviors. To provide nurses with the knowledge and skills to solve “cross-cultural” problems in the clinical environment, educational efforts are being made to develop the “cultural competence” of the medical specialist. Culture is a matter of appropriate, “learned” beliefs, values , and common behaviors in a social group. It includes language, communication styles, practices, customs, and views on roles and relationships in the world. We all belong to more than one culture, such as social, professional, or religious. This concept goes beyond race, nationality, and country of origin. Culture influences the image of our world and the interaction between patients and nurses. Many people think of cultural competence only as the skills needed to break down language and cultural barriers. While this aspect remains important, it is far more than the only one aspect.
Sharifi, N., Adib-Hajbaghery, M., & Najafi, M. (2019). Cultural competence in nursing: A concept analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 99, 103386.