Cultural Diversity in Nursing
The existence of varied cultures in the nursing field promotes quality health care. Health systems that value representation from different cultures add value to their patient populations. Cultural practices vary from one community to the other; time orientation, health care practices and health beliefs changes per individual culture dictates.
A nurse who understands a patient better from the cultural perspective will ultimately care for him or her. This influences other nurses and health care providers who can maximize their potential to learn more about the patients’ culture thus improving their professional competency. Other groups who might suffer include persons with disabilities, religious and ethnic minorities. Additionally, LGBTs are better and adequately cared for by nurses who understand them, especially in homophobic societies.
Culture diversity and inclusivity can foster greater collaborations, creativity and innovation leading to better health care and patient satisfaction. When ideas and perspectives of different cultures are brought together, the best health system can be birthed to serve our future.
Key Practices in Cultural Diversity
Honoring patients’ culture and beliefs is essential to all nurses while offering health care. They must consider their personal and cultural preferences while attending to them. They can do that by following these practices:
While pursuing competent health care, one’s knowledge of his or her culture is important. Caring for others is effective if one identity’s their own cultures and beliefs. According to Culture Advantage, an organization for empowering people on cross-culture and communication skills, a nurse will only serve well if the cultural biases that can interfere with his or her services are controlled.
The knowledge of the culture on oppression of racism, discrimination and stereotyping can help in managing the practices of a nurse. A nurse handling a patient who takes mixed concoctions from a traditional healer, for example, can judge and view the patient as primitive if he or she doesn’t recognize the culture.
Healing is a process in patients. A patient who accepts their condition heals faster. This comes hand in hand with the services of the nurse. If a nurse accepts the condition of a patient and works on helping him or her, the healing process is effective better.
A nurse’s presence and commitment empowers a patient during the recovery period, giving hope to the patient.
A nurse is expected to enquire about the patient’s culture. Enquiring is the only way of acquainting oneself with the patient’s cultural sensitivities. During the initial stages of care, one should probe the patient to reveal their cultural beliefs and practices that ought to be respected while attending to them.
Culture is an important and significant aspect of the society. The knowledge of its practices and beliefs is essential I provision of better healthcare in the society.
- Scott J. Saccomano and Geraldine A. Abbatiello, Cultural considerations at the end of life, The Nurse Practitioner, 39, 2, (24), (2014).
- Chalanda, M. (1995). Brokerage in multicultural nursing. International Nursing Review, 42(1), 19–22, 26.
- DeSantis, L. (1988). The relevance of transcultural nursing to international nursing. International Nursing Review, 35, 110–116.