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Cultural competence can be defined as “effective, individualized care that demonstrates respect for for the dignity, personal rights, preferences, beliefs, and practices of the person receiving care while acknowledging the biases of the caregiver and preventing these biases from interfering with the care provided” (Cheever & Hinkle, 2014). Nurses are expected to provide culturally competent care to an emerging diverse population of patients. In order to provide the most appropriate care to a patient the nurse must first assess how much they already know and believe pertaining to a patients culture and ethnic background and then thoroughly assess the patients background and identify areas that are important to them or highly value. Honoring the patients cultural traditions and belief system will gain the patients trust and sense of safety with the nurse who is providing direct care to them. Patients will be more receptive to education and adhere the treatment plan when given by a nurse who is respectful of their differences, thus resulting in positive patient outcomes. A beneficial method to assessment is The Heritage Assessment Tool, this questionnaire is geared specifically towards collecting cultural information that will paint a picture for the nurse to use when creating an individual plan of care. Another tool is the use of Giger and Davidhizar assessment model which guide nurses in exploring the the six cultural phenomena that might affect nursing care. Communication, space, time orientation, social organization, environmental control, and biologic variations are the identified phenomenas( Cheever & Hinkle, 2014). Some examples of nurses providing culturally competent care include, a nurse observing and being aware of a patients body positioning towards them and then determining how much space between the nurse and patient is comfortable and acceptable to the patient, by knowing that some people in the Native American culture view avoiding direct eye contact and looking at the floor while one is speaking as a sign of respect and active listening the nurse can better understand the patients behavior that may seem strange to them at first, among many Asian cultures people believe that the head is sacred and that the “spirit resides there” (Cheever & Hinkle, 2014) and that it is impolite to touch a persons head without asking permission first, therefore, it is culturally sensitive of the nurse to ask the patient before performing a close up head/neck assessment ( Cheever & Hinkle, 2014).
Assessment of culture is an essential step in providing effective nursing care to a culturally diverse Patient population. The purpose of this study was to describe the beliefs and self-reported practices of pediatric nurses from four Children’s Hospitals regarding the process of assessing culture. The 584 respondents indicated they worked with a culturally diverse patient population and frequently experienced culture conflicts. Findings indicated cultural assessment were not routinely performed. The majority indicated that learning more about the child’s culture would improve the effectiveness of their nursing care (journal of Pediatric Nursing,1999). For example, I always find out about the culture of my patients by assessing them and by asking them questions about their country and their culture. I tried to be familiar to their culture in order to understand them and care for them more effectively. Cultural competence represents good clinical practice and can be defined as such that a clinician regards each patient in the context of the patient’s own culture as well as from the perspective of the clinician’s cultural values and prejudices. The EPA Guidance on cultural competence training outlines some of the key issues related to cultural competence and how to deal with these. It points out that cultural competence represents a comprehensive response to the mental health care needs of immigrant patients and requires knowledge, skills and attitudes which can improve the effectiveness of psychiatric treatment. (European Psychiatry,2015). Cultural competence is one of the principal foundations of clinical nursing. The six defining attributes of cultural competence were cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, Cultural sensitivity, cultural skill, cultural proficiency, and dynamicity. Antecedents included cultural diversity, cultural encounter and interaction, cultural desire, cultural humility, general humanistic competencies, educational preparation, and organizational support. (International Journal of Nursing, 2019. One of my supervisors used to tell that Nurses who care for patients with different culture need to good communication skill, to ability to listen to their patients, to respect their belief, and to be non judgemental.