The Importance Of A Culturally Safe Practice Essay

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The health environment can often seem foreign, unusual and alienating for the care-receiving patient and their whanau. They may feel vulnerable, nervous or anxious, and find it difficult to feel empowered. This is especially true if a patient’s cultural needs are not being acknowledged (Medical Council of New Zealand, 2013). Culture is not restricted to ethnicity, religion or spiritual beliefs. It includes age, generation, gender, sexual orientation, occupation, socioeconomic status, and disability (Nursing Council of New Zealand, 2011). In order to deliver culturally safe practice, nurses must take time to reflect on their own cultural identity and take into consideration that his or her personal culture can affect their professional practice (Nursing Council New Zealand, 2011). The act of being culturally safe means that the nurse provides care that expands beyond cultural awareness and sensitivity. The nurse enables the patient to provide input on nursing practices and contribution towards achievement of positive health outcomes and experiences (Nursing Council of New Zealand, 2011). Cultural safety is focused on the patient’s own cultural needs and can only be identified as safe by the patient receiving the care or by their whanau (Richardson, 2010). These cultural safety customs are identified and outlined in the Nursing Council of New Zealand’s cultural safety principles, which all nurses must comply with while practicing their profession in Aoteora (Nursing Council of
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