CULTURE PROJECT 6
Accessto quality health care and treatment with dignity is the right ofeach person who comes under the care of a nurse. In providingnursing care, communication is vital. People in need of nursing carecome from different ethnic communities, races and religiousbackgrounds. It is thus important that people working in this sector,enhance their communication skills. Ethnic and racial disparities inhealth care sector affect the delivery of quality healthcare tominorities (Long, 2012). Every nurse needs to be trained in culturalcompetence for them to understand the unique needs and preferences ofpeople from different cultures.
Mostnurses express discomfort in taking care of patients from a differentculture. The reason for this is that these nurses are not trained todeal with people from different cultures during their formaltraining. It is for this reason that there are campaigns in supportof training nurses to be ready to deal with cultural differenceswhile they undertake their studies. This is important as it preparesthem for what they will come across while working. It also helps themto appreciate the differences and to be responsive to the needs ofeach person not withstanding that they belong to a different culturalgroup.
Throughthe lessons on this subject, I have come to appreciate diversity andthrough the cultural competence quiz, my understanding is broader andit gives me more confidence that I can deal with people fromdifferent cultures. Learning about cultural competence helps toeliminate prejudices that one has held against another group ofpeople. Education will fill the wide gap that comes with culturaldifferences (Long, 2012).
Everynurse should be aware of the cultural challenges that he expects andshould know the patient under his or her care well. By doing this,the nurse will be able to identify the best approach to use when itcomes to taking care of that patient and how to overcome the barriersinvolved. This is the first step for any nurse who wants to deliverquality care for each patient. This is also important because notall patients are comfortable being under the care of a nurse from aparticular ethnicity or gender.
Racismis still a problem in our country even in this century. It isexhibited by both the majority and the minority. People still treateach other with suspicion if they are from a race that is differentfrom their race. This is sad as America boasts of different culturesand harbouring people from all over the world. This country would bethe least expected country to have such a challenge.
Inmy interview, I met a person from a different race and he was stillnot confident that he would get quality care and equal treatment by anurse from a different racial background. It is for this reason thatI say that the problem is not only on the side of the nurse, but alsoon the side of the recipient of health care services. It isimportant therefore, for a nurse to know who their patient is, whathe believes in, as well as his fears. It is unethical to makeassumptions about a person’s beliefs and practices just because ofthe colorof their skin. Generalization is wrong as people are different andnot all people from a particular race behave the same. These areprejudices that would affect the delivery of quality health care.
Anotherfactor that is essential in dealing with a person from a differentrace is to assert one’s mandate in a way that brings mutual respectbetween the nurse and the patient or person under his care. By doingthis, the nurse will introduce the aspect of professionalism intoservice delivery. The recipient of the nursing care services willthus be able to look beyond the racial barriers clouding his mind,and see a professional with the capacity to deliver quality healthcare services (Truong,Paradies & Priest,2014). For the nurse who feels uncomfortable handling a patient from adifferent racial background, by bringing the aspect ofprofessionalism, he will remember his ethical obligations andappreciate diversity which does not mean that the other person isinferior or superior to them.
Knowingthe beliefs and practices of a patient is another important factorthat can influence nursing care. Different patients or persons underthe care of a nurse have different beliefs. They also do thingsdifferently. The relationship between a care giver and the patient isa relationship of trust. It is important that nurses learn thedifferent beliefs and practices so as to avoid doing anything thatwill bring suspicion in the relationship between him and the patient. A person is more comfortable in the hands of someone who does notjudge them for being different. When a nurse understands this, hewill know how to react with understanding, openness and acceptance ofthose differences (Kardong& Campinha, 2008).
Anurse should ask any patient that they come into contact with whatthey think their problem is. He should also ask for a self-diagnosisof the problem on the part of the patient, and the best way theywould think that the issue should be handled. By getting thisbackground information, the nurse will be able to understand theunique thing about a patient and then go ahead to cater for thepatient in an individualized manner.
Culturalcompetence advocates for equal treatment for all people and treatingeach person as a unique being (Vandenberg & Kalischuk, 2014).This means that a nurse should appreciate that people may ask foralternative medicine based on their cultural beliefs and there is noproblem with doing this so long as it does not adversely affect thehealth of a patient.
Afterthe study on cultural competence, students are more confident thatthey can deal with any cases that come their way. They have been ableto put away prejudices that they had previously held. Studentsappreciate diversity more and feel equipped to deal with people fromall classes of life, with different beliefs and practices whetherpopular or less popular.
Thelessons learnt through this can be used to improve the view ofnursing care from an outsider’s perspective. It will be importantif these skills are applied as it will boost the patient confidencein nurses. The patients will feel that they are in better hands andthat they will be served without being judged, and that each one ofthem will be treated as a unique person who deserves qualitytreatment.
Thenurses should appreciate that times are changing and they do not havecontrol over who goes for their services and who does not. There arenurses who do not believe that it is okay to be gay but in the courseof their work, they will meet gay patients. Their beliefs should notcompromise on service delivery, and that patient needs to be handledwith the care that they deserve. Also people from different racesshould not be treated with suspicion because of their color. Everyperson deserves quality and individualized health care and theyshould not receive treatment that is below standard.
Inappreciating cultural diversity, if a nurse understands the beliefsof a patient, they will be able to know how to respond. There aresome who do not believe in seeking treatment as they associatesickness to certain spiritual forces. A nurse who is knowledgeable incultural competence will know the right approach to use to overcomethis barrier and offer treatment without making the patient feel thattheir believes were undermined.
Theaim of cultural competence is to improve the quality of health careand service delivery in the health care sector. It aims at giving anurse the necessary tools to be able to provide individualized careand protection of the patient- nurse relationship that is arelationship of trust. By embracing cultural competence and applyingthe lessons learnt, there will be no reason of being suspicious ofone another and the graduate nurse will not feel inadequate to handlepatients with a different culture.
Kardong-Edgren,S., & Campinha-Bacote, J. (2008). Cultural Competency Of Graduating US Bachelor Of Science Nursing Students. ContemporaryNurse: A Journal For The Australian Nursing Profession,28(1/2),37-44.
Long,T. B. (2012). OVERVIEW OF TEACHING STRATEGIES FOR CULTURAL COMPETENCE IN NURSING STUDENTS. JournalOf Cultural Diversity,19(3), 102-108.
Truong,M., Paradies, Y., & Priest, N. (2014). Interventions To ImproveCultural Competency In Healthcare: A Systematic Review OfReviews. BMCHealth Services Research,14(1),1-31. Doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-99
Vandenberg,H., & Kalischuk, R. G. (2014). Conceptualizations Of Culture andCultural Care Among Undergraduate Nursing Students: An ExplorationAnd Critique Of Cultural Education. JournalOf Cultural Diversity,21(3),99- 107.