Importance Of Cultural Competence In Health Care

1200 Words 5 Pages
Cultural Competence in Health Care
Chelsea N. Walker
East Central University

Cultural Competence in Health Care Having a career in the health profession is having a career with people. There will be people of all different races, ethnicities, values, morals, and beliefs. The United States is extremely culturally diverse and with that, a job in health care will encompass all different types of people. Nurses encounter people of all cultures and it is a nurse’s job to be professional, accepting, and respectful to all patients. A nurse has to be knowledgeable of all cultures in order to better understand where the patient is coming from. This does not mean the nurse has to agree, but as a nurse it is important to be truly understanding
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Competence is an overall understanding of something, or the ability to do something successfully. Cultural competency is made of several coordinating attributes of a person that allows them to get along with and associate with individuals of different cultures. Nurses need to be culturally competent so that they are able to assess patients properly without judgement or bias in a cross cultural scenario. A culturally competent nurse does not have to agree with the patient’s belief or reasoning, but the nurse does have to obey the patient’s wishes. At times, a patient’s beliefs may interfere with what needs to be done medically in order to care for the patient. When this happens it is not the business of the nurse to get involved or to try to persuade the patient, it is the nurses job to respect the patient’s decision. A nurse may feel that the practices of a patient’s culture are harmful to the patient, but the nurse needs to understand the logic of the patient’s belief in order to understand the patient’s perspective. (Jarvis 2016) Being culturally competent means to behave professionally and respectfully to all people no matter the person’s culture or …show more content…
Jehovah Witnesses will not accept a blood transfusion even when faced with the alternative of death. Jehovah Witnesses believe that God does not allow transfusions of blood. In this culture it is believed that if a Jehovah Witness loses their life serving Jesus; the rewards will be greater in the afterlife. As a nurse it is important to respect the patient’s beliefs in such a situation even though it can be difficult. With today’s advancements in medicine doctors and nurses are able to keep a patient alive even when there is no brain activity. Sometimes it is difficult to accept, but keeping the person alive is not always the best option. One of the hardest things for nurses to accept is that everything there is to do for a patient is not always in the best interest of the patient or the patient’s family. Nurses are there to serve the patient and the patient’s best interest, not to get self-involved. (nursetogether 2012). If a Jehovah Witness refuses a blood transfusion it is the nurses duty to respect and advocate for the patient. Often people judge Jehovah Witnesses and say they want to die or they are not intelligent for choosing an alternative different from someone else. In actuality, Jehovah Witnesses feel that refusing a blood transfusion is the only option. Jehovah Witnesses want to live and serve Jesus, but when faced with the situation, refusing blood is

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