Culturally Competent Nursing Care
Culturally Competent Nursing Care
Culturally Competent Nursing Care 2.
Often, I have heard the United States referred to as the “melting pot” due to its
wide variation of ethnicity. In July of 2007 the United States Census Bureau estimated
the Caucasian / non Hispanic population at 65.7%, Hispanic or Latino at 14.5%, Black /
African American at 13.5%, Asian at 4.5%, American Indian / Alaskan Native at 1.5%,
and Hawaiian / Pacific Islander at 0.3% (Hood, 2010, p. 274). The word culture as
defined by Sir Edward Taylor in 1871 “…to refer to the complex whole, including
knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other abilities and habits people
acquired as societal member” (Hood, 2010, p. 275). Madeline Leininger pioneered the
transcultural nursing movement and Transcultural Nursing society. She explained that
people deserve to have their values and beliefs honored by nurses who care for them
(Hood, 2010, p.274).
Josepha Campinha-Bacote developed a cultural competency model. She explains
that cultural competency is an ongoing process, and one must continue to develop skills
in order to care for their diverse clients. The first step in cultural competency is
understanding your own beliefs and values. The understanding of your own culture and
life experiences influence your values. The second is cultural knowledge, meaning that
you are willing to learn and understand another person’s values and beliefs. Obtaining
this skill will help you in understanding your patient’s views on their medical problem,
which in turn can help you properly educate your patient. The third step is cultural
skill, which is being able to perform a culturally competent physical assessment. This
includes an understanding of differences in physical appearance, such as skin color. The
Culturally Competent Nursing Care 3.
fourth step is cultural encounters, meaning the nurse will intentionally interact with those
of different cultural backgrounds to broadened their views and decrease stereotyping.
The fifth step is cultural desire, which is the motivation that drives the nurse to become
more engaged and aware of cultural diversity within their patients. (Campinha-Bacote,
2002, p. 181-184).
For this project, I asked my supervisor where I could locate policies on delivering
culturally sensitive/competent care. She sent me the hospital’s policies and procedure
guidelines, describing St. Joseph’s Hospital nursing philosophy: We believe (the)
patient(s) and their significant other(s) health needs exist on a continuum extending from
prevention to rehabilitation and maintenance of well being. The patient’s right to
determination is actualized by empowerment with knowledge and skill for self-care and
self-advocacy. Nurses are patient advocates respecting the patient’s health, culture,
spiritual, and psychosocial beliefs, as well as that of the support person(s). In addition, an
interdisciplinary approach that includes the patient and the support persons achieves
optimal outcomes for the patient. While I did fine this policy helpful, I think expanding
the emphasis on cultural competence would be helpful. Examples of this would be to
become a culturally competent nurse an important skill to learn is to show genuine
concern and respect for those upon whom you are caring for. Non-verbal mannerisms and
acting in a hurried manner can be misconstrued as being uncaring. Prior to performing a
physical exam, asking permission to touch is a sign of respect as some cultures do not
permit this (Hood, 2010,...
References: Hood, L. (2010). Leddy & Pepper’s conceptual bases of professional nursing (7th Ed.).
Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Campinha-Bacote, J. (2002). The Process of Cultural Competence in the Delivery of
Healthcare Services: a model of care. Journal Of Transcultural Nursing, 13(3), 181-184.
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