Essay Cultural Diversity : An Ethical Issue

Essay Cultural Diversity : An Ethical Issue

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Cultural Diversity: An Ethical Issue
Donna M. Dufford
Chamberlain College of Nursing
NR 504 Leadership and Nursing Practice: Role Development
Summer B, 2014

Cultural Diversity: An Ethical Issue
Understanding if not embracing cultural diversity is a common ethical issue facing nurses in the twenty first century. Nurses often find themselves attempting to navigate multi-cultural world in daily practice. Patients from multiple religious and cultural backgrounds live longer and have multiple health problems requiring complex interventions eventually become hospitalized for care. The conflict of the nurse’s background of empirical knowledge versus a patient’s cultural beliefs can often cause stress for nurses, patients and families. Nursing leaders must provide tools and strategies for staff to deal with this and other ethical questions which arise in daily practice. Tools for identifying and coping with these challenges are often difficult to identify and provide as ethical questions often lack a clear right or wrong solution.
A female patient presents to the emergency room complaining of severe abdominal pain and discomfort. She is hospitalized for several days for multiple reasons. During the course of her stay, the patient is found to be pregnant. At this time, a resident from the obstetric service is assigned to perform an exam. The resident is male. The patient refuses the exam requesting a female doctor or even a midwife. The male resident is insulted but hands the case over to a female colleague. Once the exam is completed, the female physician is asking questions about care and plans. The patient defers all answers to her husband. Frustrated, the female resident asks to speak privately with the pati...

... middle of paper ..., open conversations in safe environments, and supporting programs already in place for nurses such as the ANA code of ethics. Proper implementation and continued focus on these items will give bedside nurses the skills to deal with these challenges.

Lang, K. (2008). The professional ills of moral distress and nurse retention: is ethics education an antidote?. American Journal Of Bioethics, 8(4), 19.
Leever, M. (2011). Cultural competence: Reflections on patient autonomy and patient good.Nursing Ethics, 18(4), 560-570. doi:10.1177/0969733011405936
Pauly, B., Varcoe, C., Storch, J., & Newton, L. (2009). Registered nurses ' perceptions of moral distress and ethical climate. Nursing Ethics, 16(5), 561-573. doi:10.1177/0969733009106649

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