Using Cultural Competency in Nursing Practice Essay

Using Cultural Competency in Practice
Cultural competencies is a term that has long saturated the healthcare world, especially nursing. The United States has become a melting pot of culture and ethnicity and to practice in the hospital setting it is essential to know the backgrounds of your patients and their families. Different cultures have different perceptions on health and illness. Providing culturally competent care includes knowledge about subcultures, attitudes, and skills that’s supports caring for people across international differences, including language barriers. Using a heritage assessment tool, you can reliably determine the needs of your patients based on cultural influences; It will help you assess the needs of the patient, how to go about your health promotion teaching, and protection and restoration of individual cultural beliefs.

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The purpose of this paper is to explore the Hispanic, European, Asian cultures, and the author’s own personal cultural influences. The objectives are to identify with different families and determine the needs of the individual based on the heritage assessment. Healthcare providers need to understand their own cultural practices in order to relate to their patients. That being said, my family was first evaluated using the heritage assessment tool. I identify my family as American, with traditional American values and primarily speaking the English language. My family consisted of two parents, who divorced, and one sister. My parents both worked outside the home and had a college education. I spent extra time with my grandparents and other family members on the weekend. I regularly attended public school. My mother and father were both raised in Texas, and all their family resided within the same county. We grew up in a suburban setting and celebrate Christian holidays and regularly attended church.

As far as health maintenance is concerned, we regularly had medical check-ups with a family care practitioner, and were up to date on vaccinations. We believed that the medical world and western medicine was scientifically and systematically best for our health and valued medical professional’s opinions. In reference to health protection, we prepared our foods in the most sanitary conditions and clean using germicidal chemicals to inhibit microbial growth to ensure food safety. We also subscribed to city which meant that our water was rigorously purified and tested to maintain cleanliness. Health restoration involved taking medication prescribed by the family care practitioner in an effort to go to a previous state of wellbeing. Often times it included rest and maintaining a states of good nutrition, full of vitamins and minerals. The second family assessed was that of Hispanic heritage.

The family was Mexican, identifying with traditional Mexican culture and speaking primarily Spanish. Their household consisted of the wife’s parents, the husband and wife, and 3 small children. This is customary to have the grandparents living in the house to help with the children and household duties such as cooking and cleaning. The husband worked outside the home and the wife was a homemaker. Neither parents had a college education, and never graduated high school. They emigrated here from Mexico after adulthood and all 3 of their children were born in the United States.

They identify as Catholic and regularly attend prayer sessions. To promote health maintenance they see a physician only when ill and do not have preventative care as their jobs to not afford health insurance. If they need large medical procedures, they will travel to Mexico and pay a physician in their country and buy prescriptions illegally. They believe that most illnesses are cured with “antibiotics” and do not manage long term health problems such as diabetes and hypertension because of the cost of healthcare. I found cultural factors that might cause patients to delay seeing a doctor, for example, the expectation that one should tolerate pain without complaint; and a belief that certain conditions (such as pregnancy) are natural and do not require medical attention. Generally speaking, Hispanic cultures include a more family-centered decision making model than the more model embraced western culture in the United States. Health protection among Hispanics include also preparing food in sanitary conditions and while living in the united states having access to clean water and indoor plumbing, it was mentioned to me however that in Mexico they do not always have access to running water and oftentimes use well water that has not been tested or purified and risk getting illness from it. Health Restoration often relies on herbals and to find their health care in non-clinical places, relying on folk medicine and traditional healers.

This reliance does not necessarily replace modern biomedicine; rather, herbal remedies and other non-allopathic treatments often are utilized in conjunction with Western medical care. As we become more aware of other cultures in the community it is also vital that you internalize and perform an assessment of your attitudes towards other cultures and how it effects your nursing care. This awareness will better help you understand that attitudes of your patients to ensure the platform is as level as possible when providing meaningful teaching to patents and more often, their families. You must look at rules within a specific cultural group, division of roles within a family, and spirituality. Once you feel like you understand all the intricacies within a family unit, it will allow you to provide genuine care and concern for the patient. Bridging this gap will also leave doors open for future providers as the family will have a more positive viewpoint of healthcare and their providers.

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