Cultural Diversity in Nursing
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With the outbreak of migration, globalization, and rapid growth of the minority population, nursing practices urgently need to re-examine the role of cultural diversity in workplace. The awareness of cultural diversity is crucial for any branch of nursing practice. Nursing needs of culturally diverse patients would not be met if one prefers to implement ethnocentric approaches in his routine activities. Considering the importance of this rather completed issue, this paper aims at analyzing this phenomenon and providing few advices as to how increase one's cultural competences and awareness.
Cultural diversity in nursing practices is examined by few fields of science including cross-cultural health disciplines, psychology, sociology, and nursing in particular (Bednarz, Shim, & Doorenbos, 2010). The term culture is defined rather broadly. It mainly refers to the values, customs, and beliefs which significantly impact the life of their holders. In its turn, cultural diversity encompasses differences that exist in ideologies and cultures. It might manifest in behavioral patterns, symbols transmitted through several generations, which actually might be intentionally achieved by human communities. The historically derived ideas as well as values make the essential core of any culture and serve as criteria for distinguishing one culture from the other (Bednarz, Shim, & Doorenbos, 2010).
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The importance of culture impact on an individual's perceptions, interpretations, and behaviors is hard to overestimate. Therefore, nurses have to be aware of at least basic concepts inherent for the most popular cultures in order to treat their representatives in a proper way without causing any kind of harm to their physical or mental health. Few techniques are suggested to help nurses to get acquainted with the features of a specific culture.
- Firstly, they are recommended to accept cultural diversity as a part of reality that surrounds us. There is definitely no place for ethnocentrism in health-related facilities.
- Secondly, it would be rather effective for them to simply observe the patients and determine to which cultural minority they belong.
- Thirdly, if the nurse lacks cultural skills, then he or she might apply to more experienced colleagues. Sharing one's intercultural experiences is also highly recommended.
It should be noted that the issue of cultural diversity in nursing practices should not be ignored as it is important for ensuring the quality of health-related services that are offered to the representatives of various cultural minorities.