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Cultural Competence

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Cultural Sensitivity and the Health Practices in Dominican Republic
Manoucheka Chery
Grand Canyon University: NUR-502
May 7, 2014

Cultural Sensitivity and the Health Practices in Dominican Republic

The demographics of the United States is changing to one that is multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual. Culture is a vital component in the health and wellness of individuals. Culture affects individuals' beliefs, definition of health, treatments, and interaction with healthcare providers. These beliefs may affect the patient’s compliance with medication or therapy. In order to address the diverse beliefs of today’s population the advance practice nurse must be culturally competent. Barker and DeNisco (2013) defined cultural
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An individual’s folk remedies and customs should be just as valued as professional care practices to ensure culturally competent care. Purnell (2005), noted it is important to be familiar with and sensitive to special events, activities, meaning of holidays, and other ethnic celebrations and the special foods that are served at these times.
Application to Practice
Patients and their families bring culturally specific beliefs regarding the ideas about health and illness, reporting symptoms, expectations for the delivery of health care, and views about medication and treatment. A culturally sensitivity individual recognizes the differences between cultures and accepts them. Healthcare providers are urged to recognize, respect, and integrate clients' cultural beliefs and practices into health prescriptions (Purnell, 2005, p. 8). A failure to appreciate these differences may cause a misunderstanding or miscommunication about healthcare. Language is the foundation for effective nurse-patient relationships and is important for interpersonal and cross-cultural communication.
According to Andrews and Boyle (2008), barriers to communication include differences in language, worldview, and values. It is believed that up to “90 % of all difficulties in nurse-client interactions have resulted from miscommunication” (p.20). When providing care to rural Dominicans,
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