ABOR1040 Cultural Competency In Health Services

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ABOR1040 Cultural Competency In Health Services

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ABOR1040 Cultural Competency In Health Services

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Course Code: ABOR1040
University: The University Of Newcastle

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Country: Australia

Discuss about the Cultural Competence in Healthcare.

In today’s world, where globalization and the internet has shrunken spaces and reduced distances, it is only natural that we come across people of different cultures living in harmony. As a nurse practitioner, one experiences several circumstances where the patients are from different cultural backgrounds, varied religious beliefs and also from the other part of the world. While a nursing practitioner has a challenge of treating every patient with utmost care and concern, there are times where our strengths and beliefs come in between our duty (Maier-Lorentz, 2008). A nurse practitioner might have to face situations where they might not have any control over, and still have to show their best face. This is where their values, beliefs and behaviours might help them to achieve the impossible.
This write-up is a conscious effort on my part to look into my strengths, beliefs, values and behaviours and reflect upon how they can contribute towards my nursing practice in a multicultural environment.
The values I had put forth include altruism, human integrity, honesty and generosity as well as helpfulness. Every nurse needs to have these four essential values to do their best for the patients. While a self-less concern for others well-being has been an oath that is taken by every nursing practitioner, I have, so far in my work towards the patients, have been altruistic and selfless. There are times when a difficult patient or an emergency (when you have a personal plan outside the hospital) renders one to become selfish, and at times, I too have experienced the same. However, most of the time, I have remained faithful to my altruistic values.
Human integrity is an integral part of working in a multi-cultural environment. It is extremely important to realise that every individual, irrespective of their cultural or religious background, needs to be treated in a similar way (Lea, A. 1994). Forgetting human integrity is a serious sin with respect to nursing practice, and I strive to remember this rule most of the time.
We, nursing practitioners, take an oath to serve the patients in the truest of spirit, and follow the rules put forward by our seniors. Hence, generous spirit, helpfulness and honesty form an integral part of our values, irrespective of whatever environment we work in, and serve.
Not every patient is the same, or comes from similar cultural or religious backgrounds. As we see every day in our job, there are people who have completely different religious beliefs, and adhere to certain practices that might not be comfortable for a nurse in hand. Here again, only experience and expertise will be able to bring into focus the importance of taking heed of what a patient from other cultural belief demands, and hence, allow them to keep their faith intact (Lea, 1994). Although ethical practices vastly differ, it is mandatory to let the patient practice their belief without any interference from a nurse practitioner, and if possible, lend assistance to follow their religious practices.
Patients also have every right to information, and thus, I strongly believe in providing answers to all their questions regarding their treatment procedures. Similarly, respecting the wishes of patients, and maintaining their dignity are things which add on to our strength as a nurse practitioner.
A nurse practitioner comes across quite a myriad of experiences and challenges, and every single one of them teaches something significant. In all these different and at times very difficult situations (with uncooperative patients or colleagues, or emergencies), one thing that comes out in the open is our behaviour.
It is not humanly possible for everyone to be cheerful and happy at all times, or just remain sympathetic when you face with intolerable situations. However, life as a nursing practitioner comes to this dilemma of behaving extremely competent and tolerable even in arduous and convenient situations. As my behavioural reflections suggest, I strive to act sympathetic to even the most difficult patients, remain professional, and cheerful at all times. However, at times, somewhere in the middle of an emergency or an extremely insufferable time, I lose my cool. (Although I manage not to show, and remain professional). This is where I need to work upon, to develop a behaviour and attitude, which can be extremely useful in a multicultural background (Jirwe, et.al., 2015). There may be times when I do not understand the language, or the religious beliefs of the other person, and still I will be required to act upon what I need to do to maintain professional dignity. Here is where my experience and the behavioural changes I make in myself, will come in handy.
Although maintaining professional behaviour and keeping cool in a challenging situation is applicable to all environments, and not only in the multicultural scenario, the provocations in the latter may be much more difficult to handle. Hence, it is important to develop a professional behaviour and a cool, cheerful façade at all times, to deal with the trials in a multicultural environment.
Challenges to overcome
Motivation for a nurse practitioner or anyone, for that matter, acts as an antidote to any unwanted thoughts that come to our mind. Motivation in nursing care is about how a patient goes home all hale and hearty, and how your efforts have been rewarded with their happy face.
To achieve this state of exuberance and unlimited success, it is essential to scale the summit before us. One of the challenges faced by me, is to remain stress-free and alert at all times. While alertness is an integral part of our job, stress also, sadly, comes with it. I have carefully read the experiences of seniors, and others in this field, to understand how to remain stress free even in extreme situations. Only constant practice and motivation can help me achieve the level of self-confidence and consistency that a perfect nursing practitioner needs to exhibit.
It is said that a timely intervention and suitable care can save lives easily. Here too, although Iam alert and always looking out for signs of distress, only a few years of experience can help me master this challenge and take it to the next level. Both alertness and timely intervention can work wonders in a multicultural environment, especially if the person one has attending come from a different linguistic background, and cannot communicate effectively.
Consistency in the care of my patients, irrespective of their cultural, linguistic or religious background, is a strength (or a challenge), which I have overcome, and can be of extreme use in a multicultural background. There may be times when you have to deal with multiple patients, each coming from a different background. Showing equality among them, and not worrying about their cultural differences (from your own or from other patients), can manage the situations effectively. Consistency in the care of my patients, therefore, is more of my strength, than a challenge.
It is aptly said that – ‘To err is human’. A nurse practitioner, although comes with great many expectations and challenges. It is, therefore, crucial for any nurse to understand what is required of the job, and strive to deal with it with confidence and a smile. As for my values, beliefs and behaviours, I believe that I can fit into any environment, either multicultural or multilingual, and do my best for the patients in my care. Of course, there are certain areas where I might not have the experience, but what is lacking can be achieved with my enthusiasm to learn, and also to smile and deal with my patients with expertise.
I have miles to go, before I render myself an expert in my field. However, I have the capability to look at my values and beliefs, and develop my challenges into strengths within a few years.
Jirwe, M., Emami, A., & Gerrish, K. (2015). Learning to Nurse in a Multicultural Society – The Experiences of Nursing Students in Sweden. Journal Nursing & Care.
Lea, A. (1994). Nursing in today’s multicultural society: a transcultural perspective. J Adv Nurs, vol. 20(2), 307-313
Maier-Lorentz, M. M. (2008). Transcultural nursing: its importance in nursing practice.  J Cult Divers, vol. 15(1), 37-43
Further reading
Gerrish, K., & Papadopoulos, I. (1999) Transcultural competence: the challenge for nurse education. Br J Nurs, 8: 1453-1457.
Gormley, K. J. (1996). Altruism: a framework for caring and providing care.  Int J Nurs Stud, vol. 33(6), 581-588
Leininger, M. (1996).  Culture Care Theory, Research, and Practice. Nursing Science Quarterly.
Shahriari, M., Mohammadi, E., Abbaszadeh, A., & Bahrami, M. (2013). Nursing ethical values and definitions: A literature review. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res., vol. 18(1), 1–8.
Spencer, J. R., Anderson, K. M., & Ellis, K. K. (2013). Radiant thinking and the use of the mind map in nurse practitioner education. J Nurs Educ, vol. 52(50), 291-293
Thompson, C.J. (2017).  What is Concept Mapping and Mind Mapping?  Nursing Education Expert. 

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