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Cultural competence is an important virtue in nursing care. This is especially in America's diverse patient population and the disparities its health status of people who are from different racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. A clinician has to respect differences in people, customs, thoughts, behaviors, communication styles, values, traditions, and institutions. This paper defines cultural sensitivity in nursing and terms that are encompassed with this particular concept. It further identifies a culture in which a patient believes in traditional practices for recovery to take place.
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This is being sensitive to the way in which community members' values and perceptions about health care differ from that of a health worker or professional or with that of another community. It is important to pay attention to cultural sensitivity of minority since they are increasing in population. Future doctors and nurses are currently being trained in the area of diversity. This diversity is also important for current practitioners as well. This will improve continuity of care and satisfaction of the patient. (Stridh P., Seibret P and Zimmerman C.)
Definition of Terms
Tran cultural nursing. It is becoming known among practitioners .Attention has turned to the need for something more than the traditional Eurocentric physician-patient role that people are aware of. With emphasis on best-practice models and outcomes, research has shown that there is more recovery than providing a one-size-fits-all plan of care. Without understanding the cultural context on which the client builds his/her understandings of information, this managed care process will be fruitless. (Stridh P., Seibret P and Zimmerman)
Culturally competent health care. This requires the health professional be sensitive to the differences between groups, as regards to outward behavior, and to the attitudes and meanings attached to emotional events like depression, pain, and disability. This is used to improve the quality of care by recognizing influence of culture. (Stridh P., Seibret P and Zimmerman)
An illustrating case of the importance of considering the powerful effects of culture is that of a classmate Mr. John, who sustained a severe head injury at school. His family was in Mexico and he spoke and understood only rural Spanish language .He had no visitors and his recovery was not progressing at an appropriate speed. John appeared as somebody who was not interested in getting through his injury. He made no attempt to communicate as well as participate in his recovery process. He physically turned away those who attempted to help him. As John appeared to wither away, his prognosis seemed increasingly grim. John's father visited, six weeks after the injury. It was ascertained that John believed in traditional Mexican healing practices and he was convinced that he would not recover without them. The encouragement of his father and folk healing that works at material, spiritual, and mental or levels john recovered
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The clinicians must appreciate the culture of different ethnic group and give it a chance whenever there is need. It is essential for medical practitioners to pay attention to cultural sensitivity.