Cultural Sensitive Care

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Cultural sensitive care


The classic definition for culture was proposed by Tylor (1871/1958) and still commonly cited: Culture is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, arts, morals, law, custom, and many other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (p. 1). This definition focuses on attributes that are acquired through growing up or living in a particular society, rather than through biological inheritance (Kottak, 2002). In Giger and Davidhizar’s (1991) Model for transcultural care, culture was defined as a patterned behavioral response that develops over time as a result of imprinting the mind through social and religious structures and intellectual and artistic manifestations. Culture is also the result of acquired mechanisms that may have innate influences but are primarily affected by internal and external stimuli. This definition gives more illustration on the social and religious dimensions and identified that culture is shaped by values, beliefs, norms, and practices that are learned and transmitted by members of the same cultural group (Leininger, 1991). Leininger (1991) explained In her model of transcultural care that culture is focused on the total or holistic life ways of human beings, religion (spiritual), kinship, politico-legal, education, technology, language, environmental context, and worldview are all considered.

The importance of understanding patients’ culture was clearly articulated in Giger and Davidhizar’s (1991) work. They have indicated that culture guides our thinking, doing, and being and becomes patterned expressions of who we are and that cultural values guide actions and decision-making and facilitate self-worth and self-esteem.


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...ials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (1998) and The Essentials of Master’s Education for Advanced Practice Nursing (1995).

Other disciplines have adopted similar steps to ensure appropriate level of knowledge and skills on cultural diversity. Elementary school and college educators were urged to respect the cultural richness of students and incorporate culturally sensitive curricula (Percival & Black, 2000). The importance of adequate physician knowledge in relation to cultural sensitivity has led to the imposition of legal mandates (Institute for International Research, 2005). In the military field, it has been recommended that cultural sensitivity training be added to the basic training curriculum (Holt, 2002). Additionally, in the market of business, cultural training is linked as the key to success (Local Relationships, 2003).
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