Assessment: Culture and Cultural Competence Essay

Submitted By chy-ikay
Words: 463
Pages: 2

Culture may be defined as "the learned and shared beliefs, values and life ways of a designated or particular group that are generally transmitted intergenerationally and influence one's thinking and action modes (Killian & Waite, 2009). Cultural competence is the capacity of individuals or services to incorporate ethnic/cultural considerations into all aspects of their work relative to health promotion, disease prevention and other healthcare interventions. It also is described as the ability to perform and obtain positive clinical outcomes when engaging in cross-cultural encounters. Acquiring skills related to culturally competent nursing practice is important for better client outcomes, satisfaction and quality of care (Killian & Waite, 2009). Cultural competence is obtaining cultural information and then applying that knowledge. This cultural awareness allows the nurse to see the entire picture and improves the quality of care and health outcomes. To be culturally competent the nurse needs to understand his/her own worldviews and those of the patient, while avoiding stereotyping and misapplication of scientific knowledge (, n.d). The twenty-first century brings awareness of how belief, value, religion, other cultural and socioeconomic factors affects health promotion and other help-seeking behavior (American Association of College of Nursing, 2008). Adapting to different cultural beliefs and practices requires flexibility and a respect for others view points. Cultural competence means to really listen to the patient, to find out and learn about the patient's beliefs of health and illness. To provide culturally appropriate care we need to know and to understand culturally influenced health behaviors. There are five essential elements that contribute to the ability to become culturally competent: (1) valuing diversity, (2) having the capacity for cultural assessment, (3) being conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact, (4) having institutionalized cultural knowledge, and (5) having developed adaptations of service delivery that reflect an understanding of cultural diversity (Grand Canyon University, 2014). Nutrition for example differs from one culture to another.