Having empathy and understanding are very important characteristics of the nursing profession. To give proper care to a patient, one must consider the patient’s situation not only in terms of health and the experience of pain but also in terms of age, religion, race and culture. Empathy is often described as “putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.” A lot of times, in your urbane scrubs free shipping you will be treating and caring for patients that have a starkly different culture than your own. Because of the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity of society, it is important to understand the differences and similarities of cultures so that you can give adequate care that is culturally congruent to the patient’s own.
Adopting a Method for Cultural Understanding
Cultural differences can cause emotional distress among patients and healthcare givers or providers. Effective communication is important in treating patients and promoting their fast recovery. However, when two people of different cultures communicate, sometimes a lot of misunderstandings occur because of the difference in backgrounds, experiences, mannerisms, assumptions, and expectations. Caring for people from diverse cultural background can involve a lot of complexities. As a nurse, you need to develop approaches for recognizing and respecting the culture of patients from different cultures. Transcultural nursing is one such approach that you can adopt.
What is Transcultural Nursing?
Transcultural nursing is a method and practice that focuses on the similarities and differences of culture in terms of health, care, and illness based on the person’s beliefs, cultural values, and practices, and using this knowledge to provide cultural specific nursing care to people. It promotes understanding instead of prejudice.
How to develop cultural understanding and awareness
To develop cultural understanding, you need to understand your own world view and that of your patient. At all costs, you should avoid stereotyping. To have a deeper understanding of diverse cultures, you need to inform yourself through education and research. A great way is to read about different religions, cultures, customs, and traditions. You have to develop an appreciation for the richness of the cultures of the world, what distinguishes Asian culture from European culture to African culture and American culture. It helps to read history as well as educate yourself about societal and biological evolution to understand how we are all interconnected and how we all became “different” because of events that shaped our culture and the environment that we live in. Widening your perspectives will not only help enrich your understanding of your patients from diverse backgrounds but it will also enrich your understanding of life and yourself. In more practical terms, tolerance and flexibility are very important factors for cultural understanding. Respecting your patients (or all individuals for that matter) no matter what background is very important. However, you should not make special privileges or overcompensate just because the patient is from a different cultural background. Respect should be given in the same accord as everyone. What you have to do is to give more understanding because it is not as easy compared to a patient that shares your worldview.