Culturally Competent Nursing Essay

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With the large increase multicultural population in the United States, nurses encounter patients with differences in healthcare beliefs, values and customs. To provide adequate nursing care, nurses must be aware of these differences. They must respect and acknowledge the patient’s culture. To do this, nurses need education on cultural competence to ensure patient satisfaction and better patient outcomes. According to Migration Policy institute, the Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey, the US immigrant population was 38,517,234, or 12.5 percent of the total US population. They also state that nearly one-quarter of the 7.9 million children under 17 in 2009 had at least one immigrant parent. It is important to note that these…show more content…
(Leininger, 1978). When culturally competent nurses interact with other cultures, they observe how members of the culture communicate, watching for verbal and non-verbal cues. Eye contact is important to identify. For some cultures direct eye contact is not polite. Touch for some cultures is prohibited. If needed, nurses should explain the reason for touching the patient before proceeding. In some cultures males cannot be caregivers of females. Silence doesn’t always mean miscommunication or patient apathy. For some cultures is a positive non-verbal cue or a sign of respect or agreement. Space and distance is very important when providing care. Patients can place themselves close or far from the nurse based on their culture. Healthcare beliefs also vary from cultures. Some cultures are compliant with cares while others may not be very cooperative. Based on these observations, nurses can plan their plan of care based on the patient’s needs (Maier-Lorentz, 2008 Journal Of Cultural Diversity). Nurses also need to observe pain non-verbal cues, food preferences, family arrangements and general norms and interactions. To be a successful culturally competent nurse, nurses should assume attitudes to promote transcultural care. Nurses need to be aware of their patient’s cultural differences - taking time to understand and value patient’s cultural needs and perspectives. Nurses should show respect and concern for patients. Nurses should also be empathic with their patients.
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