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8.1 Understanding Cultural Differences

An individual’s cultural background influences their beliefs, feelings, and attitudes toward health care. Their culture informs how they view health and illness, how they view healthcare providers, and how receptive they are to treatment plans. Culture also determines who receives care and the quality of their care. Certain cultures experience higher rates of disease due to genetics or health disparities caused by environmental factors. Various cultures have their own traditional healing practices and beliefs, and many people still use these practices either alongside or in place of Western medicine. Nurses care for clients from different cultures with their own beliefs and practices. It is important to be respectful of these individual differences and be aware of any implicit bias in order to provide the best possible care.

8.2 Ethical Practice in Culture and Diversity

Accommodating different cultural practices begins with the practice of cultural humility. By seeking cultural assistance from appropriate sources and practicing cultural negotiation, the nurse can demonstrate respect for other cultures. Engaging in cultural diversity practices can range from one-on-one conversations with clients, to researching written history, to actively participating in different cultural activities and experiences. Being responsive to cultural diversity involves understanding cultural differences and being willing to overcome personal biases to accommodate the cultural preferences of a client in order to provide the most culturally competent care.

8.3 Cultural Practice in Nursing

When providing care for clients from different cultural practices, it is necessary to perform a thorough cultural assessment to gain information on client-specific details. The Transcultural Nursing Society developed the Standards of Practice for Culturally Competent Nursing Care, which serves as universally applicable guidelines for nurses in all aspects of culturally competent nursing care. Cultural competency is important because it has the power to improve the quality of care and lead to better health outcomes for culturally diverse clients. Various factors can affect diversity and inclusion in nursing, including the six cultural phenomena of communication, space, social organization, time, environmental control, and biological variations. The best way to counteract this is to identify biases and change practices going forward.

8.4 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Important considerations related to providing equal, diverse, and inclusive nursing care include nursing knowledge of health equity and health disparities. The nurse should be aware of possible disparities in care of client populations and strive to foster a culture of mutual respect, understanding, and support, which can lead to improved client outcomes. Factors that can prevent diversity and inclusion include stereotyping, cultural imposition, cultural blindness, and culture conflict. Barriers to communication related to language, literacy, and accessibility for all clients can negatively affect diversity and inclusion.


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