The driving forces that make a nurse provide culturally competent care includes knowledge of different cultures, an open attitude towards learning new cultures, and skills to support patients. Being aware of different cultures allows for the nurse to communicate better with their patient. For example, a patient goes to dialysis three times per week for their chronic kidney disease. The patient of Mexican-American heritage and on January 6th is the three wise man day where gifts are exchanged and families get together to celebrate the holiday. This is not a holiday recognized by the United States. Changing the patients date for dialysis would be beneficial and would increase the patient’s quality of life. If their scheduled date for dialysis is not changed a nurse who is culturally competent would encourage celebrations at the dialysis center based on the patient’s Mexican-American heritage and Roman catholic tradition are two important driving forces for the patient (Eggenberger, 2006).
To be a culturally competent nurse requires knowledge of the culture but also think about how the culture affects human behavior. A common problem with patient and nursing is encouraging patient start a new diet because of new diagnosis of diabetes. However, in Mexican-American cultures a couple of important food groups include rice, beans, and corn, which are all high in carbohydrates. Understanding a person’s culture helps to better serve our patient by teaching the newly diagnosis diabetes patient to decrease their rice intake and substitute the rice with something else (Eggenberger, 2006).
I work as a travel nurse during this past winter I was on assignment in Arizona. In this region Arizona I was working there is a large Mexican population from the Sonora region of Mexico. In this region of Mexico many of the patient’s do not speak English or have a younger family member translate for them or use the hospital approved translation system for reviewing discharge paperwork, signing consent, etc. During the COVID-19 pandemic this made more difficult because I only speak a little Spanish and family members were not allow in the hospital to help communicate regarding where the bathroom is located and simple everyday tasks required the use of the hospital translation system. Most patients where understanding when we I would try to speak Spanish use hand gestures to explain simple things. In addition, patient often tried to speak English to me I was always touched that they were making an effort to communicate with me in English.
Eggenberger, S., Grassley, J., & Restrepo, E. (2006). Culturally Competent Nursing Care for Families by Listening to the Voices of Mexican-American Women. Online
Journal of Issues in Nursing, 11(3), 7. https://www.proquest.com/scholarly- journals/culturally-competent-nursing-care-families/docview/229511265/se- 2?
Discussion post 2: 200 words. Cultural awareness and competence are an important part of nursing. Understanding different cultures and being respectful of all people regardless of their culture is what makes a nurse great. I became a nurse to be able to help people and I realize that everyone is different, there are many different cultures, even here in Buffalo, NY, and that it is my responsibility to treat everyone equally and respect their wishes and beliefs. Some cultures do not believe in conventional medicine and we as healthcare professionals must understand and respect that. As we know, every patient has the right to refuse, and we must understand that as well as the importance of educating our patients on all treatments that are offered to them so they can make informed decisions. Understanding and respecting the views and beliefs of other cultures will build trust between the nurse and patient and assist in better patient outcomes and satisfaction. There are sometimes cultural barriers such as difference in language that can affect how the healthcare team and treatments are perceived. Other resources such as interpreters, social worker and even family members can aid in creating a trusting, understanding relationship between the patient and healthcare professional. Being able to reach out to these resources to help our patients is the responsibility of the nurse.
During my nursing practice, I was assigned to a patient that was a practicing Jehovah’s Witness. The beliefs regarding healthcare are quite different between people of this religion and my personal beliefs. The patient was suffering from a GI bleed related to her cancer and her hemoglobin was dropping rapidly. The patient would not accept blood product transfusions based on her religious beliefs even though medically they were necessary. The doctor as well as the nursing staff explained to the patient the importance of a blood transfusion, why it would help her and the risks if she did not receive transfusions. The patient understood but still refused. The doctor as well as the nurses respected her decision and treated her with every other option that was available to her, and she agreed to. In this situation it is hard for us as healthcare workers to understand why someone would refuse a therapy that would save their lives. We have to remember that we are there to treat the patient as a whole, physically, mentally and even spiritually. Therefore, we must respect the patient’s decisions and still support them as best we can.
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