Cross-Cultural Competence for Nurses

The case of experiencing the challenge in care was associated with the delay in providing the required treatment for a 68-year-old Chinese woman. After being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and requiring immediate treatment, a female Chinese patient refused to decide on treatment alternatives until her eldest son arrives from another city. The woman spoke English poorly and could not assess the severity of her situation depending on nurses’ and physicians’ words. A nurse leader, who asked another nurse speaking Chinese to help, was primarily involved in decision making.

Thus, the main resource that was utilized to improve the challenge was the involvement of a nurse who easily speaks Chinese. She was able to communicate with the patient and agree on calling the woman’s son to decide on the treatment. Using a Skype call, the female patient and her son communicated with each other in front of the nurse leader and the nurse interpreter. The woman was persuaded by her son to start therapy he had selected among the proposed alternatives. Since the woman had the legal right to decide on her treatment independently, the therapy was started as soon as possible.

This situation has helped me to become aware of cultural differences in patients and to focus on the particular features of communication in Asian families. Respecting the opinion of the man in a family, the female patient could not decide on her treatment despite her right to choose therapy. These specifics of the culture need to be taken into account when delivering care (Cai, 2016). The understanding and professionalism demonstrated by nurses involved in the case accentuate the importance of cross-cultural competence for nurses.


Cai, D. Y. (2016). A concept analysis of cultural competence. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 3(3), 268-273.

Potter, P. A., Perry, A. G., Stockert, P., & Hall, A. (2016). Fundamentals of nursing (9th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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"Cross-Cultural Competence for Nurses." NursingBird, 18 Jan. 2022,


NursingBird. (2022) 'Cross-Cultural Competence for Nurses'. 18 January.


NursingBird. 2022. "Cross-Cultural Competence for Nurses." January 18, 2022.

1. NursingBird. "Cross-Cultural Competence for Nurses." January 18, 2022.


NursingBird. "Cross-Cultural Competence for Nurses." January 18, 2022.