Culturally Competent Care

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Globalization has changed the way we live. The population demographic of United States is changing at a fast pace as every year people from different cultural and ethnic background are immigrating to the United States. By 2020, the number of ethnic minority in the United States will grow up to 35%. Immigration is an ongoing process and has brought a variety of culture and knowledge to the United States. The diversity of population is affecting the healthcare delivery system in the country. Nurses play a major role in the delivery of healthcare. Nurses are the direct caregivers to patients and spend maximum time with the patients and their family. “As
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The ability to understand one sets the stage for developing strategies related to cultural differences and plan health interventions.
People coming from different parts of world have unique health risks as compared to the residents of the United States. But the risk of certain diseases increases when people stay in USA for long period of time. For example, the incidence of breast cancer is low in Africa and Asia, so the immigrants of from these countries may not understand the importance of yearly mammogram and may become non-compliant. Each culture has its theory about sickness and its cure. For example, in Chinese culture hot and cold types of foods are used to treat different diseases. In Indian culture, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, and Naturopathy are alternative medicines recognized by the Government to treat diseases. “Having knowledge of the patient's cultural perspectives enables the nurse to provide more effective and appropriate care” (Maier-Lorentz, 2008, p. 38).
Culturally competent care consists of behavior, attitudes and skills to provide safe patient care to diverse patient population. Nurses need to be flexible and skillful to provide culturally competent care. Continuous learning is the only way to become culturally competent in healthcare business. According to ANA (American Nurses association) nurses need to have knowledge about cultural diversity. Cultural diversity affects both the patients as well as healthcare providers.
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