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Being culturally competent in nursing means to understand how different cultures affect clients and their view of their current situation. However, competency starts from within. Nurses must get to know their own self, views and attitudes to be able to recognize a need for improvement. Providers must understand the way their own views affect the way the provide care to patients of different cultures (Purnell, 2013).
Being culturally competent in nursing provides a way to improve communication, relationships with patients and increase patient satisfaction (Saleem, 2017). Recognizing the importance that gender plays in certain cultures for example when assigning a same gender staff to a patient to preserve their view of modesty and privacy. This is a culturally competent approach that encompasses the knowledge of the culture, the attitude and management skills to make such assignment whenever possible (Purnell, 2013).
The nurse’s attitude toward other cultures is also telling of her own views. Nurses must be aware of their feelings and attitudes regarding different practices as these influence the way care is provided and can influence the outcome as well (Purnell, 2013). This self-assessment also gives the nurse the opportunity to dispel any fears regarding views that are different from their own (Purnell, 2013).
Assessing cultural competence can vary widely and no single tool can assess all levels of competency. However, some standards have been set by The American Academy of Nursing outlining certain areas of great importance when attempting to provide culturally competent care (Purnell, 2013). The first step is to analyze one’s own views, culture and thoughts and how they shape the way you as a nurse project yourself onto others. This is considered the first and most important as the general attitude is derived from this step.
Secondly, nurses and practitioners can make use of the interview process to become more acquainted with a culture in order to provide the best care possible. This entails creating a particular care plan that fits the patient’s individual cultural views, obtaining data when conducting assessments, and including family members as much as desired and is appropriate according to culture (Purnell, 2013).
The third step is to not allow language to become an impediment in providing care. Utilizing interpreters when necessary and making material in their native language accessible to them regarding their care. The fourth step is to assess the health literacy level of the patient. This is a fundamental step, as the educational level can dictate how successful a patient can be in self-administering treatments, medications and following instructions (Purnell, 2013). Lastly, instructions or material provided must be simplified to facilitate reading, such as the use of bullet points and maintain level to that of a fifth grader (Purnell, 2013). These steps are a framework that when used accordingly can enhance the care of multicultural patients and improve outcomes.
Cultural baggage refers to your views, opinions and ideas that have been passed down to you from other members of your same culture.
Ethnocentrism is the belief that your way of thinking is the only one and anything different from that is viewed as weird.
Cultural imposition means to think your culture and views should be the primary ones.
Prejudice is to judge someone based on assumptions that are not true.
Discrimination is to act, speak or judge someone base on race, ethnicity, views or sexual preference among others.
Individual and organizational cultural competence are both primary sources for providing care that is cost effective, successful and efficient (Purnell, 2013). Organizations and individuals alike view these attitudes and actions as the essential steppingstones to achieving culturally competent care. Organizations however include cultural competency in all aspects not only the patient to be able to meet expectations (Purnell, 2013). Organizations promote cultural competency in their employees as a way to maintain or surpass other organizations and increase satisfaction among their customers. These organizations also use their achieved level of competency to mentor other members and continue to increase their status (Purnell, 2013)
Improving cultural competence (2015). . Rockville: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1899784440?accountid=158399
Purnell, L. D. (2013). Transcultural health care: a culturally competent approach (4th ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.
Saleem Al-Ansary, N. F. (2017). The effect of cultural competency training programs on expateriate nurses’ levels of cultural competence in saudi arabia as measured by the inventory for assessing the process of cultural competence (IAPCC-R) (Order No. 10605198). Available from ProQuest Central. (1955172004). Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1955172004?accountid=158399