Cultural Competence in Nursing

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The term culture is defined as “the thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups” (Potter & Perry, 2013). With the increase of culturally diverse populations in the United States, it is important for nurses to practice cultural competence. Cultural competence is the ability to acquire specific behaviors, skills, attitudes, and policies in a system that permits “effective work in a cross-cultural setting” (OMH, 2013). Being culturally competent is essential because nurses who acknowledges and respects a patient’s health beliefs and practices are more likely to have positive health outcomes (OMH, 2012). Every culture has certain views and attitudes concerning health. The Jewish (also referred to as Jews), in particular, have intriguing health practices and beliefs that health care providers need to be aware of. In regards to religion, most of the Jewish population practice Judaism. Judaism is one of the world’s oldest religions, being over three thousand years old (Schub T & Pravikoff D, 2013). One religious practice of the Jews is circumcising their sons. The Jewish Written Law, or Torah, compels the father to make sure that his son is circumcised on the eighth day of life. Although the topic of circumcision is somewhat controversial, the Jews strongly believe that the ritual is created by G-d himself and that “He certainly knows what’s good and not good for us” (Rich T.R., 2011). In addition to religious practices, Jews tend to have a resting day, also known as Sabbath Day. During Sabbath, the Jews avoid any form of work, which includes driving, walking, and even going as far as to refrain from pressing the bedside button in a hospital setting (Schu... ... middle of paper ... ...r family members. Lastly, the Jews often use humor as strategies to communicate with others, or they may use it as one of their coping mechanisms however, mentions of concentration camps and the Holocaust is inappropriate and should be avoided in conversations (Schub T et al., 2013). Works Cited The office of minority health. (2013). U.S. department of health & human service. Retrieved from Rich, T.R. (2011). Birth and the first month of life. Judaism 101. Retrieved from Schub, T., Pravikoff, D. (2013). Jewish Patients: Providing Culturally Competent Care. Nursing reference center. Retrieved from

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