Cultural background is a factor considered in healthcare since it influences a patient’s behavior. Nurses need to respect cultural preferences and beliefs when caring for patients from different origins. Providing high-quality care to Muslim patients requires a nurse to be knowledgeable on the Islamic faith and its peculiarities. Today, the differences in American Muslims’ social and religious values raise challenges to healthcare delivery. These factors go beyond language barriers that affect the ability to communicate health-related information, repond to unique health needs, ethical background, recovery, and even death. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure properly cultural care for Muslim Americans.
Understanding a patient’s particular experiences and values is critical to delivering culturally competent treatment. A recent study indicates that hospitals’ stereotyping, uncertainty, and biases contribute to unequal healthcare treatment (Coleman, 2019). To healthcare practitioners, understanding Muslims’ faith is essential because religion commands a way of life that the patient can not do without. First, to provide the best cultural care for Muslim Americans, nurses must learn about their diet. Consuming alcohol, pork and pork products, and all other animals slaughtered in another god’s name is prohibited under Islamic law (Attum et al., 2018). Correspondingly, mealtimes may be interfered with by prayer times. Special arrangements have to be made to accommodate these changes to make the patients feel comfortable, avoid giving pork-based medication and instead use gelatin-free alternatives such as antibiotic liquids.
Secondly, during Ramadhan periods, Muslims fast, and all health care facilities should respect their beliefs. During this period, the followers restrict themselves from food and drinks, including water. These traditions may put patients at risk, and educating them on diabetes-focused education will be necessary. Moreover, nurses need to urge patients who plan fasting to eat carbohydrates that release energy gradually (Attum et al., 2018). A pre-fasting evaluation of patients is often essential to warn them of the potential risks. Hence, health care practitioners should also encourage patients to refrain from strict observance due to their health condition or to have supplements.
Thirdly, it is vital to facilitate the provider-patient connection to establish a personal relationship that helps nurses understand communication nuances. In some cases, an interpreter should be chosen to ensure that data is shared efficiently. These translators should be proficient in both languages, understand general cultural issues, and understand the medical vocabulary (Blankinship, 2018). In case there is no linguist, a nurse of the same religious background can be of help. If a fasting patient refuses treatment, a doctor must explain the medication’s significance to the patient.
Lastly, Muslim patients’ modesty and privacy should be respected. Most patients prefer a nurse of the same gender. If it is impossible in a female patient, a female nurse or a close relative should be present (Blankinship,2018). It is best to announce a healthcare provider’s arrival to allow a patient to dress to make her feel comfortable. Thus, these aspects should be exercised to guarantee that patient care is observed in hospitals.
In conclusion, nurses need to understand and respect different cultural practices and beliefs. Today, many hospitals are faced with challenges in dealing with Muslim patients. These issues include language barriers, religious differences, and ethical background. To provide cultural care to Muslim patients, nurses need to understand some aspects, such as their diet. The privacy and modesty of Muslim patients should also be respected at all times. Thus, these abovementioned factors can be of great significance to health care providers when dealing with Muslim patients.
Attum, B., Waheed, A., & Shamoon, Z. (2018). Cultural competence in the care of Muslim patients and their families. StatPearls Publishing.
Blankinship, L. A. (2018). Providing culturally sensitive care for Islamic patients and families. Journal of Christian Nursing, 35(2), 94-99.
Coleman, D. E. (2019). Evidence-based nursing practice: The challenges of health care and cultural diversity. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 19(4), 330-338.