One method a nurse can use to gather cultural information is Madeleine Leininger’s culture care theory. Cultural assessment assesses people, groups and communities for culture beliefs, values and cultural practices to better care for patients. Also, nurses need to use the social determinant of health to view the patients’ social, economic and physical environments to help achieve cultural competence (Falkner, 2018). Nurses need to respect all aspects of culture including race, ethnicity, socioeconomics and cultural practices. There are no biased opinions regarding culture in nursing, this would prevent competent patient care (Falkner, 2018). Cultural competency is the awareness of these differences among individuals and their culture and adjusting to different plans and interventions to properly care for them (Falkner, 2018). Lack of cultural competency can increase the stressors among ill patients and their families (Flowers, 2004).
An example of cultural competency is in my hospital we have many Spanish-speaking patients that come in for various reasons. A lot of them cannot speak English. Interpreters are used very frequently. However, what a lot of nurses don’t understand is Hispanics are familial people and rely a lot on their family and cultural practices. A lot of the Hispanics I have taken care of are into holistic medicine and have refused a lot of medications. They also normally have a lot of family members present in the patient rooms. Being a nurse to a Hispanic patient has taught me a lot regarding culture as this is important to many different ethnicities.