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Running Head: CULTURALLY COMPETENT NURSING CARE

Culturally Competent Nursing Care


Marilyn Deniece Hill
January 15, 2014
Fortis College ADN Nursing Program
Montgomery, Alabama

Running Head: CULTURALLY COMPETENT NURSING CARE

CULTURAL COMPETENT NURSING CARE

Cultural competence is defined as developing an awareness of ones own existence,


sensations, thoughts, and environment without letting it have an undue influence on those from
other backgrounds; demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the clients culture; accepting
and respecting cultural differences; adapting care to be congruent with the clients culture. The
American Nurses Association recognized the need to provide culturally competent care and
stated in the associations code that nurses, in all professional relationships, should practice with
compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and uniqueness of every individual.
Nurses, have the obligation to be culturally competent and to provide culturally congruent patient
care practices. The importance of culturally competent care has been documented by numerous
nursing theorists, and the practice implications of culturally competent care have been supported
through evidence-based data (Brach, 2000). It is important to note that care is the foundation of
nursing practice; and the practice of caring incorporates the understanding of culture. Being
culturally competent means addressing the cultural practices and beliefs of each client. It means
respecting each clients cultural diversity, it means addressing the cultural influences that
influence each exchange, and it means examining how such beliefs potentially impact their
healthcare. When nursing care does not mesh with the patients belief set, compliance with the
proposed treatment plan is less likely. Being aware of the patients beliefs by proper assessment
in patient nurse relationship is important to maintain comfort for the patient and family members
as well.

Running Head: CULTURALLY COMPETENT NURSING CARE

The following are several strategies to promote cultural competence in our care: for
instance, the role of the patients family, it is important to understand the role that the
patients family plays in the healing process. For instance, in some cultures, it might be
customary for the patients family to stay with the patient whereas in others, the family might
refrain from visiting at certain times. Another important issue is stereotype; stereotyping
patients from a different culture can be detrimental to their care. It is important to be openminded and to refrain from assumptions, especially when it comes to the provisions of care.
Assess for Understanding to make sure the patient is not fluent in English, healthcare
jargon can be difficult to understand; therefore it might be helpful for you, as the patients
advocate, to further explain a physicians description. Assessing for comprehension is crucial
and you, as the patients educator and advocate, are vital in this role. Document teachings
and intervention, documentation is imperative because it provides a trail of teaching and it
shows the next member of the care team what needs to be done (Lewis, 2011). Ask about
alternative practices to healing, it is important to understand what alternative healthcare
practices are customary for the patient and providing there are no contraindications, it might
be warranted to follow through with said practices in the hospital setting. As nurses, it is our
obligation to see where our patients are in relation to their disease process and this requires
an understanding of their cultural beliefs. In essence, these beliefs are the foundation for their
healthcare practices. There is a direct correlation between culture and healthcare practices.
Hopefully these presented strategies will enable us to be both advocates of patient care and
holistic healthcare providers.

Running Head: CULTURALLY COMPETENT NURSING CARE

Understanding ones own cultural values and beliefs as well as the culture of others is essential if
nursing care is to be not only appropriate but deemed effective by the patient, family,
community, and population. Self awareness, as the initial step, is the personal process of
identifying ones own values and beliefs. This awareness enables each individual to analyze
personal feelings as a component of reflection, and to maintain culturally competent care it is
important to understand ones own culture and never to imply that another culture handles all
circumstances the same.

Running Head: CULTURALLY COMPETENT NURSING CARE

Reference List

Brach, Cindy; Fraser, Irene. Can Cultural Competency Reduce Racial


and Ethnic Health Disparities (2000). A Review and Conceptual Model. Medical Care
Research and Review ( 6th ed), Vol. 57 (1):181-217
Lewis, S. L., Dirkenson, S. R., Heitkemper, M. M., & Bucher, L. (2011). Medical Surgical
Nursing (8th ed., pp. 25-33). San Antonio, Texas: Judy L. Maltas, RN, MSN, CCRN.