The Role of Transcultural Nursing
Nur 502-Theoretical Basis for Nursing
February 20, 2014
The core of nursing at its simplest application is to cause no harm and restore a person to health when possible. For years now, nurses have been working to close the health disparity gap and become culturally competent for our “melting pot” of minority cultures. Forbes magazine (2010) said only 18% of Americans speak a foreign language, compared to 53% of Europeans and growing numbers of others around the world who communicate in a foreign language. The 2007 census bureau lists 74 countries that have a large percentage of their population who speak English. Language ...view middle of the document...
Cultural competence is describes as the awareness, knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for providing quality care to diverse populations (AACN, 2008; Calvillo et al., 2009; de Leon-Siatnz and Meleis, 2007; Giger and Davidhizar, 2007). Nurses have had to look at where we stood with our sense of superiority of providing patient care. Understanding and being aware of cultural differences, getting to know people different cultures for an understanding of their needs and a desire is what Campinha-Bacote (2001), describe as becoming culturally competent. As far back as 1960, Madeline Leininger saw the need for nurses to provide culturally competent care, when she coined the term, Culturally Congruent Care (Leininger, 2001).
Many barriers between healthcare provider and patient services exist. Language barriers and communication are major obstacles for the nurse to overcome. Many times a family will translate for patients. When people who are not versed in medical terminology, translation of medical terms can be loss, hippa information can be shared with family that the patient may not want known. When the patient and the healthcare worker do not clearly understand each other, a consensus on an agreeable plan of care cannot be reached. This prevents the patient from achieving optimal care based upon their individual and cultural needs.
In Asian cultures, there is a hierarchy of order that determines how respect is shown. Usually, the oldest male in a family is head of the house including extended family (Athar, 1998). Pakistanians believe that respect should be shown to healthcare workers. Smiling and nodding by the patient could be construed as agreement and understanding of the healthcare workers plan of care. However, the culturally competent healthcare worker should realize that smiling does not necessarily convey acceptance or agreement. Instead, the healthcare worker should question in detail in a manner that is sensitive to the patient’s needs.
When dealing with Pakistani people, especially older women, every effort to provide same sex healthcare providers should be exhausted. Elderly women do not usually prefer to change into gowns, even when same sex healthcare providers are present. Asking about a Pakistanian’s sex life is not viewed as favorable and the subject is considered taboo and would actually be an insult to an older or widowed female patient (Athar, 1998).
There are many several cultural issues that are very important for the culturally competent nurse as well as other healthcare workers to consider. Like the United States, old age in Pakistan is a definite sign of respect. Elders should therefore be treated with the highest regard of respect and courtesy. Speaking and serving elders first is considered proper etiquette. They get served meals before anyone else and no one should eat until they have first eaten. Although most people from Pakistan are Muslim, healthcare workers should not assume that each person is...