Nursing : Communication And Cultural Competence In Nursing

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Cultural Competence: American Indian/Native Alaskan Heritage Why is communication and cultural competence so important in the nursing profession? As nurses, we will be interacting with many individuals of diverse backgrounds and will need to be able to advocate and create common goals for individuals that we may not have any commonalities with. In order to provide the best care possible, a basic understanding of our patient is vital in giving the care that is not only appropriate to our standards but to their standards as well. It is obvious that we as nurses cannot know every culture in depth but we can always educate ourselves on how a particular culture communicates. Living in Washington, there are more than twenty recognized American Indian tribes and there are more than five-hundred recognized sovereign American Indian/Alaskan Native tribes (Purnell, 2014, p.48) in the United States. The culture of American Indians/Alaskan Natives is very diverse however, the role of the nurse is consistent when caring for a patient of this heritage. A few examples of how the nurse should act are: “greeting everyone in the room and establishing relationships, taking cues from the patient and not asking direct questions” (Purnell, 2014, p.51) are a few things the nurse should know prior to interacting with patients that are of American Indian/Alaskan Native heritage. Because there are so many tribes, there will be variation in cultural practice however, the nurses’ role remains
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