Healthcare practices and regard for healthcare practioners vary across and within cultures. (Book 11) Patients differ due to various aspects. These differences constitute of patient illness, personality, socioeconomic class or education, however the most endless variation is cultural. (Page 8) Race, religion, language, education, ethnicity and economic status are the essence of culture that has a significant influence on an individual’s health and wellbeing. (Page 21) Skills are crucial for ensuring that nursing care is culturally congruent; knowledge of cultures is important for facilitating communication with people (page 2).Nurses shall use effective, culturally competent, communication with patients that takes into consideration the individuals verbal and non verbal language, cultural values and context and unique healthcare needs and perceptions. (Page 9)
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Culture refers to learned and transmitted values, beliefs, norms and life ways of an individual or group that guide their thinking, decisions, actions and fundamental ways of living. Culture consists of primary and secondary characteristics and dynamically constructs and shapes the communication patterns, health beliefs, health practices and relationships of people. (Book 11) Cultures are classified by variability and diversity. (Page 1) Culture tends to provide guidelines for body adornment including clothing, and for food consumption, education, music, art, housing and a variety of other conditions of living. Cultures educate standards of good and bad, value systems, an understanding of time and what constitutes health and illness. Culture plays a fundamental role in the manner in which meanings are interpreted. Not all cultures agree on what health is as there are wide variations in beliefs about the causes and treatment of illness. (book14). These beliefs shape how a group perceives the process of life, how they define health and maintain wellness, what they believe to be the cause of illness and how providers should care for the ill. (Book 8)
Diversity refers to the differences in race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation ability/disability, social and economic status or class, education and related attributes of people in society. (Book 10) Cultural diversity comprises of a distinct range of people embedded in a collective belief and value system established by standards, customs and a way of life. (Page 6).This diversity is embodied in the uniqueness and profusion of the identities of the groups and societies making up human mankind. Cultural diversity enables an extensive range of opportunities for individuals and groups within society. It is one of the major factors of development, understood not purely in terms of economic growth, but also a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existance. (Page 5) The way in which people live highlights evidence of diversity through an extensive range of domains and environments. A variation in land, climate and setting is compound diversity in social and cultural characteristics or the reflection of individuals in the diversity of contexts in which healthcare is delivered. (Page 21)
Care is the essence and central focus of nursing. Caring is essential for health and well being, healing, growth, survival and also for facing illness or death. Cultural beliefs and practices are continuously evolving, making it necessary for nurses to acknowledge various cultures. Culture care is a broad holistic perspective to guide for nursing care practices. (Page 7) Culture plays a significant role in patient care as individuals adhere to specific beliefs and ideals as a way of life and these carry over into the most basic aspect of health and illness. (Book 13) Nursing requires sophisticated assessment and analytic skills, the ability to plan, design, implement and evaluate nursing care for individuals, families, groups and communities representing various cultures. The patient’s concept of illness and its causes will help the nurse to assess and prioritise learning opportunities. An increase in patient compliance and cooperation is evident when treatment plans incorporate the patient’s cultural values and beliefs (page 23). Nursing interventions based on cultural knowledge help patients and families adjust more easily and assist nurses in working effectively and comfortably with all patients regardless of their cultural background. (Book 10) The perception and awareness of health breakdown and illness and the cause differs within culture; these individual perceptions affect the approach to healthcare and how patients respond to care that is provided. (Page 3) The relationship between culture and cognition is vital in nursing as nurses must deal with the varying preferred styles of interaction, thinking and learning in relation to both themselves and patients in their care. This cultural awareness maintains a high quality of care and positive health outcomes. (Page 2)
It is essential for nurses to obtain fundamental knowledge and skills in cultural competency. Obtaining cultural information and utilising this knowledge ensures cultural competence. In order for nurses to be culturally proficient they must understand both their and their patients’ perception of the world, while preventing stereotyping and exploitation of scientific knowledge. Nurses portray cultural competence in nursing practice as a continual development working towards achieving a set goal of effectively working with a range of culturally diverse people whilst displaying awareness of diversity during care, a strong understanding of theory and practical skills in nursing and a crucial level of respect for others from different cultures. (Page 5) Effective nursing practice and cultural competence consists of nurses constantly aiming to provide care within the cultural limitations of their patience. An understanding of cultural diversity is vital in all aspects of nursing as it is critical that nurses understand and recognise differences within an individual and not contribute to stereotyping. Culturally competent nurses recognise the harmful effects of ignorance, ethnocentrism, prejudice and bias on the health of their patients and patient populations. Nurses serve as patient advocates by providing a voice for their patients’ needs and concerns. They also ensure the autonomy of their patient populations and their right to safeguard their values, address their health and healthcare needs and to voice their concerns. (Page 14)
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Today nurses are confronted with unprecedented cultural diversity as a result of the increasing level of multiculturalism. The continually increasing multicultural population poses a significant challenge to nurses providing individual and holistic care to their patients (page 4) Culture greatly influences how people view their health and the healthcare services they receive. Appreciation and respect for cultural values and beliefs help nurses to gain an understanding towards culturally determined behaviours (Page 22) and enhances family support and acceptance of nursing goals that have been developed (book 10). Nurses who understand and value the practice of culturally competent care are able to effect positive changes in healthcare practices for clients of designated cultures. Nurses have an obligation to advocate for the addition of their patients cultural beliefs and practices in all dimensions of their healthcare. (Page 8) Individuals are socialised through family into a particular culture; Nurses are socialised into the nursing profession through the training undertaken and the acceptance of values and behaviours as appropriate to the profession. In relation to health and care the professional culture of nursing provides the protocol or guide for determining the definition of health and associated values beliefs and practices (page 15) Nurses and healthcare providers must acquire the ability and knowledge to communicate and be aware of health behaviours influenced by culture. Embracing this ability and knowledge can eradicate barriers to the delivery of health care. (Page 31)
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