Cultural competence is important in healthcare due to the healthcare aspect of providing healthcare services to all the citizens of the United States. Cultural competence involves the ability of healthcare providers to understand individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds (Maurer & Smith, 2014).
This is important in helping healthcare providers in effectively communicating and understanding the diverse healthcare needs of all patients regardless of their ethnic backgrounds (Maurer & Smith, 2014). This can be seen in patient education, which is an important aspect of healthcare since it is used in health promotion to achieve some of the healthcare goals, which include improved health status of all American citizens (Maurer & Smith, 2014).
This requires nurses to be culturally competent in their provision of healthcare services due to the huge roles and responsibilities in the healthcare sector. Community health nurses can apply the strategies of cultural competence to their practice by using evidence-based approaches to address the needs of diverse groups in the community (Jongen et al., 2018). One of the cultural competence strategies is cultural preservation where a nurse can apply this strategy by respecting the beliefs and values of other individuals without being influenced by his/her own cultural values (Jongen et al., 2018).
Respecting other individual’s identity is the first step in interacting with people from other cultural backgrounds since this keeps the integrity of the nurse to other individuals. The second cultural competence strategy is cultural accommodation where nurses can apply this strategy by placing themselves in the shoes of other individuals from diverse cultures (Jongen et al., 2018). This will enable the nurses to understand the values and beliefs of the other cultures, which will enable them to accommodate these groups in different aspects. This will not affect a nurses’ own culture but the nurse is able to accommodate other cultures (Jongen et al., 2018). A nurse can also apply this strategy by supporting a patient’s cultural practices to the extent that they do not have negative effects on the patient (Jongen et al., 2018).
The third cultural competence strategy is cultural repatterning where a nurse can apply this strategy by helping a patient in modifying his/her personal behaviors to better behaviors which will lead to positive health outcomes. This is done while at the same time respecting the patient’s cultural values (Hart & Mareno, 2014). The fourth cultural competence strategy is cultural brokering where nurses can apply this strategy by using a mediating person or group, which is meant to minimize the rise of a conflict between the two parties (Hart & Mareno, 2014). A mediating person who is also known as a cultural broker has an understanding of both parties and helps the two parties to come to a consensus which is meant to produce positive outcomes (Hart & Mareno, 2014).
A possible barrier to applying the cultural competence strategy chosen may include the lack of the availability of cultural brokers who meditate between the two parties. This may negatively impact a nurse applying the cultural brokering strategy (Hart & Mareno, 2014).
- Hart, P., & Mareno, N. (2014). Cultural challenges and barriers through the voices of nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing 23, (15-16), 2223-2233.
- Jongen, C., McCalman, J., Bainbridge, R., & Clifford, A. (2018). Cultural Competence in Health: A Review of the Evidence. Singapore: Springer Singapore.
- Maurer, F. A., & Smith, C. M. (2014). Community/Public Health Nursing Practice: Health for Families and Populations. Elsevier. Saunders.