In a substantial number of countries all over the world, population may be currently regarded as culturally and ethnically diverse. It goes without saying that cultural competence of health care providers is immeasurably essential and imperative for successful health care delivery as it is established on the common principles of ethics, justice, and human rights (Garneau & Pepin, 2015). In other words, competent nurses should consider patients’ cultural and religious values and beliefs in their practice (Jeffreys, 2016).
According to Rassool (2015), “nurses need to understand the implications of spiritual and cultural values for clinical practice” (p. 12). In epidemiology that focuses on the diseases’ distribution, cultural competence is important as well.
A nurse practitioner who is aware of his or her patient’s culture demonstrates sensitive care through being non-judgmental on the basis of personal beliefs, prejudice and stereotypes. Cultural competence may be developed through collaborative work and interaction with culturally diverse people. The development of language skills substantially contributes to better understanding of patients with different cultural backgrounds as well.
On the one hand, a competent health care provider considers the patient’s values and beliefs on a first-priority basis even if his or her own culture is considerably different. However, from a personal perspective, the nurse’s cultural heritage and related values and belief may have a highly positive impact on successful health care delivery. As Cuban/Colombian, I have learnt from an early childhood to respect older people and value family, parents, and traditions of both cultures.
In addition, I always listen to people in order to support them and constantly learn new things to enlarge my scope. These personal peculiarities on the basis of culture substantively help me both in life and nursing practice. It is essential for me to express my understanding, respect, support, and compassion to patients, colleagues, and their cultural norms and beliefs to build solid relationships on the basis of trust.
Garneau, A. B., & Pepin, J. (2015). Cultural competence: A constructivist definition. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(1), 9-15. Web.
Jeffreys, M. R. (Ed.) (2016). Teaching cultural competence in nursing and health care: Inquiry, action, and innovation (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing Company.
Rassool, G. H. (2015). Cultural competence in nursing Muslim patients. Nursing Times, 111(14), 12-15.