The nursing profession is humanistic- it is a career where direct interaction with the client is mandatory. The interaction process enables a nurse to examine the patient’s condition and take relevant actions to ensure his/her medical welfare. However, I have learned that the interaction process is not as easy as I had perceived from my learning experience. Nurses tend to patients from different cultural backgrounds, ethnic groups, religions, beliefs, races, and values. The diversity of patients may hinder a nurses’ progress that has limited knowledge of transcultural nursing. The transcultural nursing theory aims to equip nurses with skills to provide quality health care services regardless of cultural barriers (Nursing2020, 2005). In the future, I will carefully assess a patient’s aesthetic preference by using questionnaires to preserve respect and deliver the best quality care.
In my perspective, cultural competence is the most fundamental critical need a nurse can muster. Proficiency in cultural competence places a nurse above any obstacle that the nursing career may present. A comprehensive understanding of culture also prevents stereotyping people from the same cultural origin. The interpretation of some things in life varies according to culture, and without that knowledge, good nurse intentions may be wrongly perceived. Cultural competence encompasses awareness and overcomes misinterpretations. For instance, maintaining a close distance with a patient may be interpreted as close care in some cultures, and in some, it may interrupt the patient’s comfort. Keeping eye contact in some culture may be considered offensive, while in some, it is authoritative. As a nurse, I will be careful when touching patients because, in some cultures, for example, in Muslims, the head is considered a resident of supernatural beings. Therefore, it will be significant to explain to such patients before tending their heads; otherwise, it may be disrespectful.
Cultural competence also eliminates discriminative attitudes that a nurse can encounter in the career. For instance, I have learned that some religious beliefs resist medication; therefore, I will understand such patients and find means to persuade them to take drugs. I will also learn about different cultures’ holidays and avoid scheduling appointments on these special days. Another crucial thing to familiarize me with is overcoming cultural communication barriers. In practice, I will incorporate practical verbal and non-verbal expressions while communicating with my patients. If the patient’s language is unfamiliar, I will use an interpreter to get to the problem’s roots and recommend a suitable health action. During conversations with my clients, I will address them with a low and polite language by the surname. The course has taught me to avoid being judgmental; I will understand patients who struggle to communicate and simplify explanations when giving instructions. Furthermore, I will create a friendly environment with my clients by smiling at them to avoid threatening them or giving them a negative impression.
In the future, I would like to venture and equip my skills in cultural competence. The world is full of beautiful people from different cultures, and since I am adventurous, I will place efforts to learn more about the world. Cultural competence will increase my nursing skills and enable me to work in any foreign country. I will deliver my services to different cultures that may not be privileged to have professional nurses. I will also learn multiple languages to comfortably communicate with patients from diverse cultures and give them a sense of belonging.
Nursing2020. (2005). UNDERSTANDING TRANSCULTURAL NURSING. https://journals.lww.com/nursing/Fulltext/2005/01001/UNDERSTANDING_TRANSCULTURAL_NURSING.2.aspx