Cultural Sensitivity, Knowledge, and Skills from Nurses

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Nowadays, nurses not only need to know how to care of their patients, but they also must be able to care of patients from other cultures with many beliefs and values. Cultural views of individual influence the patient’s perception and decision of health and health care (Creasia & Parker, 2007). In order to care for people across different languages and cultures, nurses need to develop cultural sensitivity, knowledge, and skills.
Cultural sensitivity means being aware that cultural differences and similarities exist and have an effect on values, learning, action, and behavior (Stanhope, et al., 2005). Beliefs and practices about health and illness are different with different cultures. With appropriate respect and interaction, nurses can win the patients’ trust. A culturally competent nurse must discard the assumption that all patients evaluate the quality of the care they receive the same way. Nurses should understand that culture is a fundamental part of patients' lives, and cultural barriers may impede care access and delivery (Hagman, 2007). A nurse needs to have varied beliefs and strategies for handling situations and patient care issues. She needs to listen and be tolerant. Being understanding of differences will not only broaden her own horizons, but also will help her to become a better nurse. A cultural competent nurse should ask questions and listen carefully to the answers in order to better understand the cultural diversity issues in health care that affect her patient. This approach emphasizes the patient’s role in promoting his wellness and in his responsibility for his own care. Being sensitive and showing respect for different cultural patients are nurses’ job (Quan, nd).
Cultural knowledge is the process of seekin...

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...messages, and these may vary considerably among different cultures. Skilled cultural nurses should involve a translator or change the phrases and words they use when explaining care. Become aware of the small, non-verbal clues that indicate a patient is not being totally understanding and take time to explain unfamiliar terms (Murphy, 2011).
Cultural differences affect how people react to illness, response to symptoms, and how they seek medical care. Nurses will encounter cultural differences in all clinical settings. Cultural sensitivity, knowledge, and skills are essential part in nursing practice so that nurses have to possess them and apply into practice to enhance patient-centered care during a cultural conflict. These are tools to enable nurses to work effectively with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and to ensure cultural competency in nursing care.
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