Different members of society have different health-related social determinants, such as living and working conditions and access to quality healthcare. Therefore, nurses face a significant challenge because of health inequities. However, they can rely on a powerful asset to help them: cultural competence.
Let’s explore what cultural competency is, what it means for nurses and why it is essential.
Table of Contents
What is cultural competence in nursing?
Cultural competence in nursing refers to delivering quality, effective care to patients with diverse behaviors, values, attitudes and beliefs. This approach involves a system that can easily customize healthcare based on cultural and linguistic differences. Moreover, it compels an understanding of the possible influence of cultural variations on healthcare provision.
How important is cultural competence in nursing?
According to research, receiving culturally competent nursing care has considerable social and health advantages. Here is a look at some of these benefits.
- Improved patient experiences: Culturally competent nurses are better equipped to profoundly connect with patients, facilitating communication between patients and nurses. Increased patient compliance, improved health outcomes and positive organizational outcomes are frequently the results of these closer nurse-patient connections.
- Enhanced patient outcomes: Patients have more chances to ask questions or collaborate with the nurse to create a culturally acceptable care plan. Better communication between patients and nurses improves patient engagement, which improves their general health results.
- Reduced healthcare disparity risks: Health disparity is the health status gap across different groups of individuals. Several factors, including a lack of understanding and respect for sexual orientation, immigration status, ethnicity and race, might influence health disparities. Culturally competent nursing professionals understand that patients should receive the same degree of superior nursing care regardless of cultural variations.
- Improved patient satisfaction: It is recognized that cultural competency helps nursing staff members’ knowledge and attitudes, which ultimately assists patients in feeling more comfortable and results in higher overall satisfaction.
- Improved patient care: By supporting nurses’ professional development and growth, cultural competence enhances their ability to deliver high-quality patient care.
Components of culturally competent care
Four elements make up culturally competent care. These elements that nurses should incorporate into patient care include:
- Cultural awareness: Nurses can be aware of their prejudices and how they respond to patients from backgrounds and cultures that are different from their own.
- Cultural knowledge: Cultural competence in nursing involves learning about other people’s values, beliefs and norms. To better understand and engage with patients, nurses must actively seek information about their values, beliefs and cultures. This will help to improve the nurse-patient connection. If you love to extract the big picture, a master’s degree program in nursing from Texas Woman’s University online nursing will give you the tools you need for an exciting career. You can immerse yourself in a comprehensive online nursing program focused on patient care.
- Cultural attitude: After nurses gain awareness, they can constantly examine their ingrained beliefs and growing awareness.
- Cultural skills: By repeatedly engaging in culturally competent practices, nurses put their knowledge, awareness and mindset into play and eventually integrate them into their regular encounters. These actions include appropriate body language and clear, polite communication. Nonverbal cues, such as gestures, can have highly varied connotations depending on the culture.
Nurses must be culturally competent to provide each patient with the best treatment possible, leading to a greater patient experience and consideration. Without this approach, the health industry will suffer greatly.