Emerging Standards of Care Paper
University of Phoenix
June 30, 2014
Instructor Hilda Brito
Emerging Standards of Care Paper
Over fifty years ago, Madeline Leininger was on a mission to advance the practice of transcultural nursing. Times have definitely changed in the last fifty years, and transcultural nursing has become a major focus for the government as well as many nursing organizations. Emerging standards of care regarding culturally competent care, is an important aspect of the health care industry, especially nursing. With the growing population, there is an increasing amount of people that are not native to America. As nurses, it is important to understand and respect a multitude of different cultures in order to appropriately care for a diverse patient population. This paper will explore the meaning of culturally competent care as it relates to this nurse’s place of employment (Gwinnett Medical Center), identify populations affected, and show how culturally competent care is implemented, as well as how it can be improved. Culturally Competent Care
The Office of Minority Health defines cultural competence as “a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations” (2013). Culture can be defined as beliefs, values, and traditions that influence a person’s life choices, especially those pertaining to health care. It also includes language and education level native to a person’s country of origin, or region. Nurses see and experience these languages and beliefs first hand. It is important for nurses to care for patients and families with different beliefs in a way that is respectful and incorporates these beliefs for the patient’s well-being. At this nurse’s place of employment, there have been many advances in providing effective culturally appropriate care. Gwinnett Medical Center is located in one of the fastest growing communities outside of Atlanta, and is a Level II trauma center. With two campuses, containing a total of 553 beds, the service area covers Gwinnett and part of Fulton County. Therefore, many of the patients are from outside the United States. With such a diverse patient population, it is important for nurses and other health care providers to have a knowledge base that allows them to be able to understand, and respect, different beliefs and traditions. Leadership at Gwinnett Medical Center maintains cultural sensitivity as a priority, in turn, ensuring that all employees understand various cultural etiquette, and implements policies to promote cultural care. Their mission is to provide quality health care for the expanding community. Populations
As previously stated, Gwinnett Medical Center is located in a very diverse area. According to the US Census Bureau, there are several minority populations in Gwinnett County. The breakdown is as follows: Black or African American alone – 25.5%, American Indian and Alaska Native alone – 0.9%, Asian alone – 11.1%, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone – 0.1%, Hispanic or Latino – 20.7% (US Census Bureau, 2012). Considering the large amount of Hispanic or Latino and Asian populations, language barriers are a great concern. Gwinnett Medical Center has in-house Spanish interpreters, as the main portion of the non-Caucasian patient population is Hispanic. Many of the staff speak, or have learned to speak Spanish in order to communicate with those patients who do not speak English. For those patients who speak a language other than English or Spanish, the hospital has a Language Line available on every floor to communicate with patients and families. Many of the nurses employed at Hospital A are from India. They are able to communicate and translate for the patients who speak Hindi or Malayalam. Gwinnett Medical Center also employs physicians that are fluent in...
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