dcsimg
Online-Education.net > Ask the Guidance Counselor > Finding the Right Career > Becoming culturally competent: 5 tips for nurses

Becoming culturally competent: 5 tips for nurses

Question:
I'm a nurse in a small clinic in a big city. We see many patients from diverse cultural and ethnic groups. How can I learn more about working with people from different backgrounds?

Answer:
The very fact that you want to learn about various cultural groups as a means to improving your nursing care practice is an important step in becoming culturally competent. Culturally competent nurses are those who make every effort to provide nursing care that is appropriate and consistent with the cultural values of their patients.

According to Healthy People 2020, 33% of the U.S. population in 2008 identified themselves as belonging to minority racial or ethnic groups. Here are some tips for nursing care of these diverse population groups.

Be aware of your own culture and biases

Think about how you communicate best, how you like to spend your time, and how you view relationships. Americans tend to value independence and resourcefulness, while other cultures place high values on the welfare of the family or community group. Americans value innovation, others may see blending in with the larger society as a greater value. Your views of gender, religious beliefs, and time orientation (focused on the present as opposed to planning for the future) are likely to be different from many of your patients.

Be willing to listen and learn

Listening to patients is always important, more so when they are from diverse cultural groups. Be attuned to nonverbal indications of discomfort, listen carefully to what is said, and be sure to ask about how you can provide care in a way that is appropriate and comfortable. Use resources such as EthnoMed to get more information about cultural beliefs as they relate to health care of various ethnic groups.

Use the appropriate language

Assess which language is primary for the patient as well as their literacy level. Using family and community members as interpreters is fraught with problems, so it's important to use medically trained interpreters. Your clinic may have access to either a phone interpretation system or the ability to bring in trained and certified bilingual individuals.

Acknowledge differences but avoid stereotyping

As you become aware of and sensitive to other cultures, you are going from time to time run up against practices which you find difficult to accept. Perhaps the role of women is dramatically different, or personal care practices don't meet your hygiene standards. Be certain that the value differences do not prejudice your standard of care. Be sensitive to any tendency to devalue people with whom you may differ. Avoid making assumptions based on limited past experiences.

Share decision making

The use of alternative therapies, folk healing beliefs, differences in dietary patterns, and suspicion about the value of western medical advice may lead to misunderstanding. You are more likely to gain compliance with recommendations if the patient and family have a role in deciding how the plan of care is implemented, and if their values and practices are incorporated whenever possible.

As you work toward a BSN or MSN degree, you can broaden your appreciation of culture and ethnicity by taking a course such as medical anthropology or sociology. Many communities also offer language courses, such as Spanish for health care workers. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are improving your cultural competence as you further your education!


 
Results:  10
Matching School Ads
Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

Please call on  844-252-4552 to talk to a respresentative.

Founded in 1789, Georgetown University is the nation's oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. Today, Georgetown is a major international research university that embodies its founding principles in the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff, our commitment to justice and the common good, our intellectual openness, and our international character.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree to be qualified for this school.

The schools below offer related programs that other inquirers have considered.
Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.
At University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education.

University of Phoenix is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. University of Phoenix was placed on Notice by The Higher Learning Commission, effective June 27, 2013. For additional information, contact The Higher Learning Commission, ncahlc.org.

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.
Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.
To get ahead, you need an education that will truly set you apart and is affordable. A private, non-profit, fully accredited institution, Bellevue University is dedicated to helping you earn a degree that prepares you to advance your career.

 

You must have an RN degree to apply to the RN to BSN program

Selected Programs:
  • Nursing (RN to BSN) - BS
Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.