ack of cultural awareness and failure to provide culturally competent

ack of cultural awareness and failure to provide culturally competent care can impact patients in a negative manner, adding more stress, and resulting in inadequate care provided by nurses. First answer: What makes a nurse culturally competent? Then explain a situation in your practice as a nurse where either cultural competence was at the forefront of care or was lacking.

Your initial posting should be at least 400 words in length and utilize at least one scholarly source other than the textbook. 

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Cultural competence is an essential aspect of providing appropriate and effective care in healthcare. The nursing profession requires nurses to understand and provide care that is sensitive to diverse cultural beliefs, practices, and values of patients. Hence, it is important for nurses to be culturally competent in their approach to patient care. In this paper, I will discuss what makes a nurse culturally competent and share an experience where cultural competence was either present or absent in my practice as a nurse.

What Makes a Nurse Culturally Competent?
Cultural competence in nursing refers to the ability of nurses to recognize and respect the cultural diversity of patients, families, and communities they serve. It involves a set of attitudes, knowledge, and skills that enable nurses to provide appropriate healthcare services irrespective of the patient’s cultural background. A culturally competent nurse recognizes the cultural influences that shape a patient’s personal beliefs and health practices, and they adjust their care approach to accommodate those beliefs. They also understand how cultural differences affect communication and care delivery, avoiding stereotypes and assumptions about a patient’s culture. To become culturally competent, nurses must be open-minded, non-judgmental, respectful, and sensitive to the needs of their patients.

A Situation in my Practice as a Nurse where Cultural Competence was Present or Absent
As a nurse, I once had a patient from a different country who was admitted with complications after undergoing an abortion. Initially, I struggled to communicate with her due to language barriers, but I used a professional interpreter to communicate with her more effectively. Together with the interpreter, I learned that in her culture, abortion was perceived as a shameful act, and her community stigmatized women who had abortions. Her family was also concerned about the financial burden of her hospitalization. Understanding the cultural influences, I provided emotional support to the patient, and I involved her family in the care process. I also provided teaching about contraceptive methods that were culturally acceptable.

In another situation, I had a patient with a chronic illness who was admitted for monitoring and management. Despite needing urgent care, the patient’s cultural background demanded that they consult a traditional healer first. The patient’s primary care physician, who was unfamiliar with the patient’s culture, expressed disapproval, and the patient felt disrespected. The physician did not provide culturally competent care, and as a result, the patient delayed necessary care, leading to complications.

Cultural competence is an important aspect of nursing that ensures patients receive culturally sensitive and appropriate care. It involves an understanding of cultural beliefs, values, and practices that shape a patient’s health care needs. By being culturally competent, nurses can build trusting relationships with patients and families, making it easier to provide optimal care. It is essential for nurses to continue learning, reflecting, and seeking ways to enhance their cultural competence to improve the quality of care they provide.

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