So there are different definitions of Transcultural Nursing but the most common concept is cultural competence, which is defined by nurses as “having the ability to understand cultural differences in order to provide quality care to a diversity of people.”
Madeleine Leininger in 1978 introduced the concept of transcultural nursing and developed the culture care theory and that was the first attempt in the nursing profession to highlight the needs for culturally competent nurses. Her goal and purpose was for nurses to understand diverse and universal culturally based care factors that affect the health and well being of others. To understand these factors allows us to provide care that is individualized and meaningful to people from different cultural backgrounds.
So transcultural ties into a lot with cultural competence and in nursing we had borrowed the social workers’ point of view in cultural competence and they say that it’s “a continuous process of striving to become increasingly self aware, to value diversity and to become knowledgeable about cultural strengths.” We adopted this concept and so we (nurses define) culturally competence as being able to understand cultural differences in order to provide quality care to a diversity of people. An example of this is something my lab tutor told us about how she met a couple who was very husband orientated. He didn’t allow his wife who was in labour in having epidural or any sort of pain reliever. So my lab tutor said “These are the options, please review them amongst yourselves…” because even though she was annoyed and in disbelief that the husband wouldn’t allow his wife pain relief—she still knew that this was their culture and she shouldn’t in her words “cause a divorce because that’s not my job.”
Q: So why is this important? Culturally competence is important because it allows us as nurses to have better communication skills, cultural assessments and knowledge related to different cultures in practice.
Cross-cultural communication is also very important where there are different social skills that apply in our nursing care.
Eye Contact is very important, since some of us when we’re talking likes to maintain eye contact with clients, however in different cultures such as Arabic’s think that different eye contact is aggressive and impolite, Hispanics only use eye contact with an elder is taking to someone younger, or when it’s deemed appropriate by their cultural standards.
Touch: Some cultures restrict touching such as Hispanics or Arabic’s such as not allowing male nurses in touching certain parts of female clients.
Space and Distance: Nurses should understand that some clients prefer to stand farther away or even closer depending on their cultural background and preference.
All of this ties into the Giger and Davidhizar Transcultural Assessment Model, which is one of the models in our Daily Theory sessions. So the model was developed in 1988 and it was to help nursing students in an undergraduate program to assess and provide care for patients that are culturally universe. The model states that each individual is culturally unique and should be assessed according to the six cultural phenomena: a) communication b) Space c) social organization d) time e) environmental control and f) biological variations
Communication. Communication embraces the entire world of human interaction and behaviour. Communication is the means by which culture is transmitted and preserved. Both verbal and nonverbal communication is learned in one's culture. Communication often presents the most significant problem in working with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Space: Similar to what I said in the previous slide; Space refers to the distance between individuals when they interact. All communication occurs in the context of space. According to Hall (1966), there are four distinct zones of interpersonal space: intimate, personal, social and