Approximately sixteen percent of the United States population is made up of Hispanic (also referred to as “Latino”) individuals. The term “Hispanic” refers to an individual whose nation of origin is Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, or Spanish-speaking countries of Central America or South America (Lowdermilk, Perry, Cashion, Alden, Olchansky, 2016, p. 104).
Additionally, Hispanics accounted for about 26.3% of births that took place in the United States in 2012 (Cohn, Livingston, & Passel). With over one-fourth of potential patients being Hispanic, a significant focus is placed on the expectations of nurses on Labor and Delivery units nationwide to provide culturally competent care. Cultural competence refers to the acknowledgement and respect of diversity presented in a clinical setting. This expectation becomes nearly impossible to accomplish if nurses are uneducated in regards to specific cultures, such as Hispanic, or ignorant to particular preferences with respect to culture, traditions, and customs.
Comparative to understanding and engaging with the patient, the nurse must also understand herself/himself. Ethnocentrism occurs when a nurse perceives his/her own culture as superior to others (Lowdermilk, Perry, Cashion, Alden, Olchansky, 2016, p. 23). Overcoming this biased perception is essential to delivering competent and relevant care to patients.
With the increasing rates of Hispanics residing in the United States, Hispanics seeking medical care, and…